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Vice-president of Guyana: The world will continue to need fossil fuel

The vice-president of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, says that the call by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to stop developing new oil, gas and coal fields will create an unfair monopoly for already developed oil-producing countries and ruin the economies of new oil-producing nations.

He said the world will continue to need fossil fuel so there is the need for new oil-producing nations to be part of the supply chain.

Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on Sunday Night, Jagdeo said, “Our argument is if we follow through with the logic which the IEA said and the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – that you should not spend any more money on the exploration or development of fossil fuel resources – effectively they are calling for a monopoly for the existing producers …

“So the world will continue to need fossil fuel as we’ve seen recently, or the prices will go up if we shut off supply,” Vice-President Jagdeo said.

“And the only people who can benefit from this would be the existing producers. What about us whose GDPs are low, and our people have legitimate expectations?

“Who will pay for us for the opportunity cost of giving this up? Will they be willing to do that?

“That has to be the core of our argument without disputing the science or arguing against a global carbon price, because we support a global carbon price. But once there is a market, we should be part of the supply chain,” Jagdeo said.

Fossil fuels
It is estimated that fossil fuels will still provide 60% of the world’s energy by 2040. However, the pattern of use will change, moving away from coal and towards gas, and be increasingly concentrated in industry.

At present, over 80% of the world’s energy is produced by burning coal, oil and gas.

Fossil fuels release billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and are the biggest driver of climate change.

Petroleum, coal, natural gas and Orimulsion are the four fossil fuel types. They differ in their physical, chemical and other essential properties but the critical feature of fossil fuels is that they are not “green”, or environment-friendly.

When fossil fuels are burned, they release vast quantities of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases in the air trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. The global average surface temperature has increased by a little over 1˚ Celsius since 1880, the peak of the first Industrial Revolution.

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