The European Climate Foundation has launched a new report, Oil Market Futures, which highlights the need for policymakers and investors to start planning for a world with significantly lower oil demand, and consequently lower crude oil prices. Just as the “Peak Oil” theory proved to be a mirage, Oil Market Futures throws into question previous assumptions of ever-increasing oil prices.
The report was launched at the London Stock Exchange on April 20th, an event where Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister Barry Gardiner MP warned that oil companies were taking unacceptable risks by planning for business-as-usual. In his keynote speech, Gardiner told the audience: “It is foolish – and reckless – to plan for business as usual. Yet that is what oil companies are doing. I now believe that it may indicate a pattern of deliberate misinformation to the public that will one day lead to a successful criminal prosecution against such companies similar to those we have seen in the tobacco industry.”
Around 80 representatives from the oil industry, the investor community, government and civil society gathered in the symbolic venue. Gardiner’s speech was followed by a debate on the “new normal of oil prices” between Professor Dieter Helm, E3G chairman Tom Burke and The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s CEO Anthony Hobley. At a second event in Brussels on April 26th, around 150 participants heard a panel debate on the implications for geopolitics and EU policy choices.
The study was conducted by a consortium of three consultants, Pöyry, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), and Cambridge Econometrics.
The report received media coverage globally, as illustrated by this selected article from the Guardian.