– Science is crystal clear. We cannot deal with nature.
The message from the Danish Minister of Climate, Dan Jørgensen, is crystal clear. Together with Costa Rica, Denmark is now trying to start an international alliance, “Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance”, whose goal is to set an end date for oil and gas production, which means that countries fulfill their obligations under the Paris Agreement.
The binding agreement states that one should try to keep global warming below to degrees from pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degrees.
– Must stop
“Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance” is to be formally launched during the UN climate conference in Glasgow in November. The conference has been named COP26.
Before the start of the conference, the two countries hope to have joined many other countries in the fight to put an end to oil and gas production.
– There is no scenario where we can burn all the oil and gas we find where we stay below 2 degrees – and definitely not 1.5. It is not possible, so we have to stop, as Jørgensen during a webinar arranges the international agency for renewable energy, according to CNBC.
Denmark, which is the EU’s largest oil producer, adopted a ban on oil exploration in December last year, as well as a closure of the industry within 30 years.
Denmark is the world’s 40th largest oil producer, and has a daily production of 150,000 barrels. To put it in perspective: Norway is the world’s 13th largest producer and producer of millions of fats of oil every day, according to Worldometers.
– On the one hand, this is a big thing to be a country about. What they say, as one of my political opponents said when I proposed this in Denmark, is: “So you want us to say no to free money? Do you want to stop spending money on backing so others can do it for us? “And I had to answer yes. But it is for a good reason, says Jørgensen.
Together with Costa Rica, the Danes hope to get the other countries to a binding agreement on an end date for the oil and gas industry.
– Challenge for Norway
It will be more difficult to achieve, says Stig Schjølset, head of the environmental foundation Zero.
– It is an initiative that presupposes that you get with you quite a few countries that are not concerned with climate policy. To have full effect, you must have some of the major oil and gas producers in the Middle East, and they are not so interested in discussing such things, says Schjølset to Børsen, before adding:
– This does not mean that it is not a challenge for Norway. This will in the first instance put pressure on countries such as Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. And it is especially these countries that want to take the lead in climate policy that are being challenged by this.
Because, Schjølset argues, it can not be the case that those who want to do the least with climate change are the ones who must set the pace for others.
– You can always point to those who do less as an argument for not doing anything themselves, says Schjølset.
Although the Danish Minister of the Environment believes that it would be “rude” to mention specific countries, he describes it as a “paradox” that many country writers of their obligations to be carbon neutral in 2050, at the same time as they plan to extract more gas and oil. Among these countries is Norway.
– You should not burn it yourself and you think that no one else should do it either, but you want to make money selling the oil to other countries? It is out of the question, says Jørgensen.
Exactly that type of argumentation Norway must find itself faced with many times in the time to come, Schjølset believes. He sees that more and more people point out the moral dilemma Norway is facing by “pursuing an oil and gas policy that is a bet against the Paris Agreement”.
– It’s getting harder and harder. Eventually the split becomes so strong that we have to do something about the production side. It will be more difficult for the new Prime Minister and the Minister of Climate to stand back at future climate summits and defend that Norway must recharge for new oil and gas resources. says Schjølset.
– This is a moral dilemma that will not disappear. I will not draw parallels too far, but we have adopted an international convention against cluster munitions. Therefore, Norway has stopped producing images weapons, even though other countries still do.
In May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that if you want to reach the 1.5-degree target from the Paris Agreement, you do not need new oil and gas fields.
A recent report from the British think tank Carbon Tracker stated that the world’s largest oil companies are facing quite dramatic production falls, if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved.
“Equinor is very exposed and is facing a production decline of 65 percent,” they conclude.
The UN’s sixth climate report was released in August, and also there an alarm was sounded.
In a statement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said reports were “Code red” for humanity.
“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is indisputable,” Guterres said.
It is with these warnings behind Denmark and Costa Rica programs that they put pressure on the oil-producing nations. And although the initiative itself is making a big impact, it is part of a larger trend.
– It is part of a broad mobilization to put pressure on oil and gas producers. Major international media such as the Economist and Financial Times have written about the Norwegian paradox challenge, says Schjølset.
– This question is coming more and more often, also from our partners and allies in climate policy.
Norway has committed itself to cutting emissions by 55 percent, and must then cut in all sectors. At the same time, Schjølset believes that although in a global perspective it looks more difficult to stay below the 1.5-degree target. then it must not be an excuse for not doing as much as one can.
– There is a big difference of 1.5 and to degrees temperature increase. But the difference is probably even greater from two to degrees. Every decimal counts, and all countries must do what they can to cut their emissions to zero as quickly as possible.