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G20 Energy Ministers Heart Renewables, Squash “Energy Poverty” Case For Fossil Fuels


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"High-level energy ministers from G20 countries met got for the first time ever last Friday, and if fossil fuel stakeholders were hoping for a show of support from that historic event, they got bupkus. While the fossil sector has been holding out cheap fossil products as the only way to relieve “energy poverty” in developing countries, at the meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, G20 ministers officially adopted a renewable energy toolkit that leads off with a program for reducing renewable energy costs among G20 countries and sharing low-cost technology around the globe.


G20 101

For those of you new to the topic, G20 (Group of 20) is a UN-supported organization that includes the 20 leading economies in the world, which together account for more than 75% of global trade: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.


G20 was formed in 1999 to respond to the financial meltdown in Asia, and the organization still has its hands full dealing with the aftermath of the 2008 debacle:

In 2015, the global economy continues to produce far less than it would have if the crisis had not occurred; there are tens of millions fewer jobs and global trade growth is still too slow. While always remaining vigilant to risks and vulnerabilities, the G20 is now more focused on improving the future of the global economy.


Energy Poverty & Fossil Fuels

Combined with an exploding global population, slow economic growth brings us right around to the “energy poverty” case that fossil stakeholders have been promoting. Here’s ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson promoting the role of fossil fuels in bringing electricity to underserved communities:

These large-scale trends remind us all that energy demand is directly related to economic growth and opportunity. They help emphasize the critical importance of society finding ways to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. And they are a reminder that there is a humanitarian dimension and a moral imperative to expanding energy supplies for the sake of future generations


In fact, our mission to expand supplies safely, securely, and responsibly is even more pressing when we consider the facts of “energy poverty” today.


G20 Has More Bad News For Fossil Fuels

G20 countries still have an enormous stake in the global fossil fuel market, and the organization recently launched an investigation into the financial impacts of stranding fossil fuel assets as a consequence of greenhouse gas action. However, the consequences of inaction are already becoming apparent, and it looks like G20 has decided that the financial risks involved in shutting down the fossil fuel sector are quite manageable compared to coping with catastrophic climate change.


That and links to sources as well as more details can be found here: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/03/g20-energy-ministers-heart-renewables-squash-energy-poverty-case-fossil-fuels/?utm_source=Cleantechnica+News&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8a4fe7fc9c-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_b9b83ee7eb-8a4fe7fc9c-331970081

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And they are a reminder that there is a humanitarian dimension and a moral imperative to expanding energy supplies for the sake of future generations.

Am I confused?

Since when is it the business plan of the oil industry to incur the expenses of exploring and expanding energy supplies for the purpose of holding them in the ground for the sake of some distant future and presumably poorer generations, rather than selling them to meet current growing demands of the present generation? I had no idea of their abundant altruism.

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I read that differently.


Rex is a really bright guy and that is code for "we ain't spending a nickel on development right now because of the crappy oil price. We need to spend money to replace existing sources we are rapidly burning up.


We need to figure out how to ensure we, and future generations, don't end up running around in the dark."


Right now we aren't doing much in real terms about expanding energy supplies. Arguably it's just the opposite.


But I am frequently wrong. :)



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Kand J Bm, ( Could you perhaps post a name like Joe or Jane?)


I think what they are alluding to is their opposition to the Saudis opening up their production fully and flooding the market with cheaper oil, because as one Saudi Prince is quoted as saying, they think we are already at or about to be at peak oil levels. Some OPEC sources are accused of opposing Putin with cheap oil, others that the OPEC nations are trying to keep the West from developing cheaper alternative energy technology to displace their main, and in some cases only source of revenues. Right now Shell is announcing layoffs and losses, as others now follow suit.


Here are a couple of articles that might help:






The latest main manipulations of the oil markets came from the US around 2008. If you Google the price increase and drop of oil prices at the pump in 2008 you will see where the hedge funds were found out manipulating commodities using a loophole in the laws, which seriously need rewriting as another set has been pulling another Hunt brothers market cornering market manipulations, but this time the brothers are named Koch, among a few others.

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Renewables are interesting, but they don't yet have enough volume to influence the market much unless the market is being driven more by ideology than common sense.


Derek, 2008 is two centuries ago when you consider what is going on now.


Nobody, nohow, nowhere is spending a tithe of the money required to replace what we are happily burning. Everyone at the consumer level is going "oh my, cheap gas, whoopee, this is great".


Bad things are coming, probably about four to five years from now, when we suddenly find we don't have enough production capacity anymore because no one was out exploring for new resources or developing the existing hard to fund, hard to develop expensive resources we already know about. The US rig count is down something like 50%, and the only reason its that high is the smaller companies are still active protecting their cash flows even if their net is garbage.


The days of cheap, easy to find, easy to develop oil are over. Have a browse through the last four years of the Oil and Gas Journal. Think of it as The Economist of the oil business. They aren't always right, but they've been around nearly forever and they generally are about 85% accurate.


So the real market drivers, the people you need to watch carefully as this is where the really smart people live, the big companies including the Shells, the Exxon Mobils, the Chevrons and Conoco Phillips have all said, "nuts to this, we are not spending any money we don't have to until there is some sanity restored to the market." What that means is that after something like 12 years where we haven't found enough conventional resources to replace what we're burning, we now are devoting about ZERO dollars to even looking.


I need someone to explain to me how this is going to turn out anything other than bad.



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