Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have split with developing nations over more stringent cuts in the burning of fossil fuels.
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have split with developing nations over more stringent cuts in the burning of fossil fuels, fearing their economies will suffer from shrinking demand for oil. Most developing countries are calling for wealthier nations to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 at climate talks in Bonn, Chinese negotiator Su Wei said. Oil producers are concerned the cuts will shrink energy exports.
?Whatever policies will be adopted will add to the uncertainties for the demand for oil,? said Mohammad Al Sabban, an adviser to Saudi Arabia"s Ministry for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, in an interview. ?We share the concern for climate change but at the same time we don"t want to be a victim.?
The world"s nations are negotiating a UN climate-change treaty to cut fossil-fuel emissions and slow global warming by improving the energy efficiency of vehicles and buildings, installing solar panels and adding wind farms. United Nations scientists say developed countries need emissions cuts of 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020 to avert the worst effects of climate change. Now developing countries want more.
?Developed country parties should undertake deeper cuts of the order of at least 40 percent,? China"s Su said in an interview in Bonn, citing their ?historical? responsibility. That view is shared by a ?majority? of the G77 and China, a group of about 130 developing nations, he said.
Developed countries including the U.S. are among the nations that haven"t yet agreed to reducing emissions 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels. Based on what they have proposed so far, those countries will probably cut carbon output 4 percent to 14 percent, the environmental group Greenpeace estimates.
The G77 is trying to juggle the interests of members ranging from low-lying island states that stand to lose the most from rising sea levels amid global warming and oil-producing nations such as Saudi Arabia that will suffer should demand for fossil fuels decline.
Some oil producers have yet to agree on the call for more demanding emissions cuts from industrialized nations, Pa Ousman Jarju, a Gambian delegate who speaks on behalf of a group of 49 least-developed countries, said in an interview. OPEC countries are negotiating in part of the group that Gambia belongs to.
?The OPEC members are yet to agree with numbers because they want to know the potential economic consequences on their economies and how it would affect oil exports,? Jarju said. ?For us it"s a survival issue, it"s not an economic issue.?
Crude oil has fallen 65 percent from a record in July and traded near $51 a barrel today. Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said yesterday he doesn"t expect prices to rebound to $70 a barrel this year as the 12-member OPEC implements its biggest-ever supply reduction.
Saudis to Suffer?
Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the world, will suffer as the U.S. and Europe strive for energy security, or reduced imports of fossil fuels, while presenting their efforts as climate-change mitigation, Al Sabban said.
?We see that definitely there will be a bias against the oil-producing countries,? he said. ?We start to question whether the intention is to address climate change or achieve energy security.?