Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Climate activists say oil report too pessimistic

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:03 AM
An offshore oil rig

Climate activists say a report showing oil use will continue to rise for over two decades is too pessimistic, but highlights the need for more action to combat climate change.

The report, released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, predicts oil demand will keep growing until 2040 even as the price of solar power falls.

Reducing the use of fossil fuels is a key demand from activists and many governments taking part in the global climate talks in Bonn, Germany this week.

Lauri Myllyvirta, an energy analyst at Greenpeace, says the Paris-based IEA's report is "absurdly pessimistic about renewables." She says similar forecasts have proven wrong in the past.

Myllyvirta said international targets to curb global warming and reduce deaths from air pollution nevertheless require a greater commitment to renewable energy sources.

Brazil says the rate of deforestation in its Amazon conservation areas fell by 28 per cent over the past year, the second lowest level in decades.

The Latin American nation says satellite data show 159 square kilometers (61 square miles) of protected rainforest were destroyed in the 12 months ending July 2017.

That compares with a loss of 221 square kilometers of protected Amazon rainforest in the previous year.

Brazil is under pressure to clamp down on deforestation, much of it illegal, because the Amazon plays a key role in soaking up carbon emissions and preserving biodiversity.

The announcement comes as Britain and Germany pledged $81 million and $72 million respectively to combat deforestation in the Amazon region.

Microsoft says it aims to cut carbon emissions generated from its operations by 75 per cent by 2030, from 2013 levels.

The software giant's pledge Tuesday on the sidelines of global climate talks in Bonn, Germany, reflects the kinds of efforts large businesses are making to help curb climate change, which is largely caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Microsoft has already cut its emissions from 900,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2013 to about 230,000 tons this year, taking it a long way toward the stated goal for 2030.

But its electricity requirements will grow as the company expands its business, particularly in the field of cloud computing. The Redmond, Washington-based company said it wants to lower emissions by sharply increasing its use of renewable energy.