Oil-producing States need not fear climate change measures, says UN official

Oil-producing States need not fear climate change measures, says UN official

The international battle against the effects of global warming represents a war against emissions rather than oil, the top United Nations climate change official today told a gathering of the world’s oil producers.

The international battle against the effects of global warming represents a war against emissions rather than oil, the top United Nations climate change official today told a gathering of the world’s oil producers.

Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told a high-level seminar hosted by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that the fight offered economic opportunities for the group’s members.

“International action on climate change is a war against emissions, not a war against oil,” he said. “Oil will continue to play a pivotal role in the global energy mix for decades to come, not least due to growing global energy demand. But oil will have to be de-carbonized with adequate technologies. OPEC can deliver a big part of the solution to climate change.”

Mr. de Boer said the implementation of stringent targets for emission reduction by industrialized countries will help to significantly spur the development and deployment of such technologies.

“In this way, oil-exporting countries need not fear that a shift to a low-carbon world economy would hurt their economies and can play a pivotal role in ensuring that international negotiations on a post-2012 climate change are launched this year.”

Next month in Bali, Indonesia, the world’s nations will gather under the auspices of the UN for talks to try to map out a new international accord to succeed the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, the current mechanism for encouraging emission reduction and which is due to end in 2012.