Energy News Today

All energy crises pale in comparison to Covid


LONDON — Oil and gas giant BP on Thursday published its benchmark Statistical Review of World Energy, describing 2020 “as a year like no other” due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global energy.

Over the past seven decades, BP said it had borne witness to some of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the global energy system, including the Suez Canal crisis in 1956, the oil embargo of 1973, the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

“All moments of great turmoil in global energy,” Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP, said in the report. “But all pale in comparison to the events of last year.”

To date, more than 185 million Covid-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with over 4 million deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The actual tally of Covid-19 infections and fatalities is believed to be far higher — and continues to rise.

The pandemic also led to massive economic loss, with global GDP estimated to have slipped by around 3.3% last year. That represents the largest peacetime recession since the Great Depression.

For global energy, the Covid pandemic has had a dramatic impact. Here are some of the highlights from the report:

Energy developments

For some, the decline of global carbon emissions briefly raised hopes of so-called “peak carbon,” although desires of limiting global warming — and meeting a crucial target of the landmark Paris accord — are rapidly deteriorating.

It comes even as politicians and business leaders publicly acknowledge the necessity of transitioning to a low-carbon society, with policymakers under intensifying pressure to deliver on promises made as part of the Paris Agreement ahead of this year’s COP26.

“There are worrying signs that last year’s COVID-induced dip in carbon emissions will be short lived as the world economy recovers and lockdowns are lifted,” Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, said in the report.

“The challenge is to achieve sustained, comparable year-on-year reductions in emissions without massive disruption to our livelihoods and our everyday lives,” he added.

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All energy crises pale in comparison to Covid

2021-07-08 10:31:31

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