& Tobago



Very usefull links

Very usefull links

Very usefull links




Inside, confidential and off the record



Conflict at COP26



3 reasons why we will see conflict at COP26


Next week some 25,000 delegates, observers, campaigners and members of the media will gather in Glasgow for the latest in the series of UN climate conferences which began in Kyoto in 1997. What can we expect to happen?

The answer is conflict. This is why:

1. No consensus on degree of urgency

2. Limited funds and commitments for investments

3. High-level no-shows

No consensus on urgency

First, there is no consensus on the degree of urgency with which the energy transition away from hydrocarbons should be made. Campaigners see the impact of climate change beginning already with extreme weather events causing floods, wildfires and heatwaves. They want an immediate transition and will be active in Glasgow using various forms of direct action to express their frustration. Meanwhile the energy industry foresees a gradual transition spread over decades driven by the fact that the world is tied into a system of energy production, distribution and consumption dominated by hydrocarbons. Worldwide 80 per cent of final daily energy demand is met by coal, oil and natural gas. That percentage will still be 70 per cent in 2050 based on current policies according to The International Energy Agency in its latest World Energy Outlook. Extensive pledges by governments around the world could make an impact but hydrocarbons will likely make up over 60 per cent of our energy needs in thirty year’s time.

Limited funds and commitment for investing

Second, the financial commitments are not being made. Putting a price on carbon would induce energy users to switch or use less and could also stimulate investment in research into new low carbon technologies. But progress is slow and the incentives for investment are in most countries not in place. There is no effective carbon price. In the emerging economies of the world – particularly in Africa and Asia – the priority is development and the escape from subsistence poverty. The funds necessary to invest in reducing emissions are limited and another area of conflict in Glasgow will be the absence of a substantial commitment from the world’s richer developed nations to provide the hundreds of billions of dollars required. But finance is not a problem for developing countries alone. In the US President Biden is struggling to put together a package of measures to reduce emissions which can get through Congress and has been forced in the last few weeks to reduce the climate related spending in the legislation he is proposing. In the UK the Government’s plans are held up by an inability to define who will pay for the very substantial upfront capital costs of the transition.

High-level no-shows

The third strand of conflict arises from the underlying political disagreements across the world. Climate change may be a unique issue posing an existential challenge but it cannot transcend the very different national interests of the key countries which account for most of the world’s emissions. The tensions between the US, China and Russia remain. The result is that neither President Xi nor Mr Putin will be in Glasgow. Nor it seems will Mohammed Bin Salman, the all powerful Saudi Crown Prince whose Kingdom continues to depend on exports of oil.

Imperfect and impartial

These conflicts will undermine the attempt to reach a new global deal and will therefore diminish the achievements which have actually been made. The glass is half full which is not enough but better than nothing. A vast number of countries have made commitments to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 and many are striving to take the detailed steps to deliver on those commitments. That is positive news. Innumerable companies from Microsoft to Equinor are making their own commitments which will also have a positive impact.

The result of COP26 therefore then will be imperfect and partial. The issue has been driven up the agenda of public policy and the transition to a lower carbon economy is beginning. But the risks have not been removed.

The immediate reaction to this limited progress is likely to be a new surge of protest from campaigners, perhaps in particular from those who expected too much from Glasgow. The energy industry and in particular companies who are continuing to invest in oil, gas and coal are likely to be the prime targets for direct action.

Working towards 2030, not talking about 2050

A more constructive outcome would be a more examination of why the process has not been more successful. One answer must be that the focus on 2050 was a mistake because it opens the door to lavish but unsubstantiated rhetorical promises. A greater emphasis on what can be done at a minimal cost with real target reductions set for 2030 would have been more valuable. So would a process which did not focus on a mass public gathering. Much more could be done through quiet step by diplomacy to resolve differences and to find areas of mutual advantage. The UNFCCC process in which COP26 is the latest event has been running for almost 25 years. It has served its purpose and deserves to be overhauled. The next step is to focus on identifying the steps which can be agreed and delivered on a short term basis.

Norway has immense experience in diplomacy and in all aspects of the energy business. The country is trusted and free of the ambitions associated with being a great power. It is hard to think of a country better able to lead the next phase of the dialogue on the global energy transition.

By Nick Butler is a Visiting professor at King´s College London

_____________________________ / ONS / Oct. 27, 2021

PW ISSUES.... 10 / 28 /2021

Inside, confidential and off the record

Is an independent journalist effort from Petroleumworld, on Inside, Confidential and Off The Record Information, the views are not necessarily those of Petroleumworld

Follow us in : twitter / Facebook

Send this story to a friend Copyright© 1999-2021. Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.

We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions as the source. Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors.Internet web links to are appreciated.

Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments, share your thoughts on this article, your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.Write to editor@petroleumworld.comBy using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page.

Hit your target - Advertise with us

Any question or suggestions,
please write to: editor@petroleumworld.comBest Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8,10 +/ 800x600 pixels




Contact: 414) 276 3041

Elio Ohep.

Director & Producer: Elio Ohep


Advertising:Malena Vasquez:58 412 952 5301
Technorati Profile
PW in Top 100 Energy Sites

CopyRight ©1999- 2021, Petroleumworld ™  / Elio Ohep- All rights reserved


Legal Information This site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from Petroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.Internet Web links to are apreciated.

Petroleumworld no se hace responsable por los juicios de valor emitidos por esta publicacion, por sus colaboradores y columnistas de opinión y análisis. Aceptamos colaboraciones previa evaluación por nuestro equipo editorial, estamos abiertos a todo tipo o corriente de opiniones, siempre y cuando a nuestro juicio esten dentro de valores éticos y morales razonables. Petroleumworld alienta a las personas a reproducir, reimprimir, y divulgar a través de los medios audiovisuales e Internet, los comentarios editoriales y de opinión de Petroleumworld, siempre y cuando esa reproducción identifique a la fuente original, y se haga dentro de el uso normal (fair use) de la doctrina de la sección 107 de la Ley de derechos de autor de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica (US Copyright) Internet Web links hacia son apreciadas.