OPEC rejects IEA’s forecasts about fossil fuels use

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has rejected projections by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) suggesting that the global consumption of fossil fuels will peak in 2030 before dropping to record lows because of an increase in the use of the renewables.

OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said in a statement issued on Thursday that IEA’s recent forecast about the decline in the use of fossil fuels in the next decade would only worsen the situation in international energy markets.

“It would lead to energy chaos on a potentially unprecedented scale, with dire consequences for economies and billions of people across the world,” said the statement.

In an article in the Financial Times published on Tuesday, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said estimates by the Agency shows that the age of growth in use of fossil fuels “is set to come to an end this decade.”

“This is the first time that a peak in demand is visible for each fuel this decade — earlier than many people anticipated,” Birol said in the opinion piece, adding that demand for the three fossil fuels, namely coal, oil and natural gas, is set to hit a peak in the coming years.

However, OPEC statement called the forecasted decline “so dangerous”, saying such statements normally lead to calls to stop new oil and gas investments.

“Such narratives only set the global energy system up to fail spectacularly,” said Al Ghais, adding that some 80% of the world’s energy mix still comes from fossil fuels, the same as three decades ago.

The OPEC chief said that IEA’s estimates had failed to consider the technological progress that has taken place in the oil and gas industry to cut emissions.

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