Has COP21 Got A Problem?

Regular readers of this blog will know my views on CO2 and climate change already. However, COP21 in Paris did reach an agreement in what was described as an ‘historic deal’. The problem with implementing it will almost certainly be the current price of hydrocarbons. While I doubt CO2 is the light switch when it comes to climate (which has a geological time scale history of change irrespective of geological CO2 levels), I am in favor of renewable energy for a number of different reasons. The issue is that renewable energy is often subsidized by central Governments. At what point does a Government look at the falling price of crude oil, coal and natural gas and determine that economically, slowing the development and subsidy around renewables doesn’t make much sense in the short-term? at $20/bbl, crude oil starts to look like a very economic alternative even if there is a carbon cost. It will, therefore, be interesting to see how and how soon COP21 actually turns into real action plans at the level of Government. Of course, everything in this industry is cyclical anyway and the more there is a return to cheap hydrocarbons, the sooner the price of those … continue reading

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