16 Mar 2010 08:03:11
£250bn tar sands investment could instead be used to transform renewable energy sector
Billions spent developing the Canadian tar sands over the next 15 years could be instead be used to support projects that could secure long-term clean energy supplies for the UK.
A report published yesterday (March 15th) from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) argued that the £250 billion to be spent to be spent producing oil from the Canadian tar sands could also fund projects to accelerate the UK's transition to a low carbon economy.
According to the authors, the money could 'transform' the UK's power sector, with £264 billion being enough to make the UK meet its target of 15 per cent renewable energy by 2020.
The study also highlighted that the tar sands project is not guaranteed to bring in huge revenues.
"Companies that make big investments in tar sands risk big future losses by focusing on a business area that is only profitable if emitting carbon is cheap, oil prices are stable at a high level, and there is a large market for the oil produced," claim the report's authors.
"It has been conservatively estimated that £35.5 billion of UK pension assets are
invested in shares in UK oil and gas."
Last month, Shell announced that it will continue producing upwards of an additional 100,000 barrels a day from tar sands, despite international protests from activists and environmental groups. http://tiny.cc/7dsed