â¢ Follow the Long Read on Twitter: @gdnlongread, Your support powers our independent journalism, Available for everyone, funded by readers. We need more Barcelonas and fewer Atlantas, because that will encourage us to change the way we live: walking more, using public transport more, sharing cars, cycling. If you do not see a subscription sign-up form above, it may be because your browser has an ad-blocker set up. Historical evidence shows there is a link between income and population: as people become richer, they have fewer children. Joining the podcast today is Mac Van Wielingen. Tracy: When you ask that question Mac, what kind of answer do you get? More have access to healthcare and education. The fossil fuel companies are in business because we want the products that fossil fuels make and power. As things stand, the offers will fall a long way short of what the experts say is a level consistent with the 2C target â about 12bn tonnes a year, short according to Michael Jacobs. And so, my point is that we need to think synergistically across a number of fundamentals and the economic fundamentals should always be there. Parents expected their children to be better off than they were. And they can stand in front of the industry and speak to those positive ESG fundamentals that you referenced and really defend the industry and put it into a proper light versus advantage seeking, in a sense, within the polarization that has been created in Canada. Let's start with ourselves. Those who want to cut consumption and restrict population growth have the same question to answer: unless you are prepared to use draconian methods, how do you do it? You know, why isn't our ESG enhancing those advantages? To sign up for our newsletter you will need to temporarily disable the ad-blocker and refresh this page. Receive our free newsletter with energy stories and news that matter to Canadians. There are those who might argue otherwise, but life in the world before the industrial revolution really was nasty, brutish and short. And so, it's developing its resource and it has in a sense, you don't have the same splits within a country like Norway as you do in Canada with the regional split. Italy. Given the dreadful air quality in Delhi, the government led by Narendra Modi is well aware of the threat of climate change and has announced ambitious plans to increase solar power. And it's like there's almost a reluctance or an embarrassment or an unwillingness to look at our resource potential truly as a strategic asset for Canada. Dieter Helm, professor of energy studies at Oxford University, says: âItâs not clear weâre very serious about climate change. And even then, what most people are failing to appreciate is that the energy transition to decarbonize is going to occur over multiple decades and even multi-generational. It's a huge value creator. Thatcher was no climate change denier. Or, even for a household, putting money into the house for repairs and maintenance, those can be at least partially explained by or looked at as investments, and you've got an enhanced asset. But if it can be blamed on âusâ, the answer is not quite so simple. The Cuban government responded by creating urban farms: agriculture went local, small scale and â by necessity â organic. And when I talk about economics, I talk with ESG and I'm trying to encourage people to look at, to broaden the concept of ESG to E-ESG or what I sometimes describe as double 'ee'-s-g. And it's, we have to see these aspirations across those four cornerstones. It's very possible. But even then, you know, we just don't think, we don't see the same level of polarization we see in Canada. Its carbon footprint is tiny. And so, I look at these dilemmas really through that kind of lens. I think thatâs totally naive.â. Once shareholders understand that governments are serious about climate change, they will start to look at their investment portfolios. Apart from the impact on households, power shortages are holding back growth and job creation. And so, we have so much policy and regulatory uncertainty and political uncertainty slash controversy, sometimes hostility directed towards the industry --the Western Canadian energy-based industry -- that it has been a factor. And there's always the risk of a truly hostile policy. Yet, the picture we are confronted with is different: demand for fossil fuels keeps growing. That is going to require some tough decisions and some compromises. Weâre going to have to look more closely at carbon capture and storage, because thatâs a way of using your fossil fuels without emitting. Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 13.34Â EST. QOM Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told the one-day conference on Economy Without Oil here Thursday that it is a mistake to consider oil as a source of revenue. Oil and Natural Gas 101: What is ESG — and why does it matter? To have a realistic prospect of preventing global temperatures from rising by more than the previously recognised danger threshold of 2C, scientists say it is not possible to burn all the proven fossil fuel reserves owned by companies and governments. He's a corporate director, a private equity investor and a philanthropist. If it comes to pass, it will be because, despite all the warnings, climate change has not been taken seriously enough. But the collapsing cost of crude oil is the equivalent of a tax cut for energy consumers; governments could remove subsidies painlessly in the current climate. Not everybody buys into this narrative, of course. But is there anything else that you would like to add at this point before we wrap up the podcast today? âWeâre seeing very rapid changeâ, says Stern, âbut weâre going to have to accelerate the arrival and installation and use of renewables, from hydroelectricity and wave power through to the various types of solar. In the west, there was a long economic boom that lasted from the early 1990s through to the financial crash of 2007. It's not just the industry marketing. That is because the real growth in energy demand from now on is going to come from the developing world. March 15, 2020. in Business. As the west outsourced its manufacturing to low-cost centres in Asia, energy demand in China, India and Indonesia rocketed. Mac, you're also involved in the Real Jobs Real Recovery Task Force. So, I answered your question by referring generally to, in a sense, the process, the decision-making process relating to like, what is it we can do to support recovery? We could be living through the green technological revolution, in which energy has been decarbonised. And I don't think we can objectively appreciate how profound that is. They should be, but it needs to be presented that way. The natural advantages that you were asking earlier. Now the underlying driver of economic growth is technical change, and technical change is accelerating. âAchieving universal access and a tenfold increase in power generation will take huge domestic investments and a big international financing effort.â. If oil is no longer in demand, these countries would face a rapid period of readjustment; they are likely to face a fall in wealth, unless they could create growth in other sectors. Â© 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. It gets much worse still, of course, because a world without oil would quickly become a world without all of the products made from petroleum that we have come to know, love and depend upon. Mac Van Wielingen is an energy executive, private equity investor, corporate director, and philanthropist, and has been called “Calgary’s corporate radical” for his progressive thinking and unique grasp of corporate leadership, strategy and human behaviour. That's our opportunity on a global basis. âTo say that we have to stop growing â that we have to go backwards â I think is factually wrong, and also politically unlikely to be successful.â. Mac: And so, I emphasize it because the question for Canada is how it's going to manage its fiscal situation to be able to ultimately not just kickstart the economy and create jobs in the short-term, but ultimately to kickstart our productivity numbers and our competitiveness more into the medium- and long-term. Smoking in a restaurant or bar is no longer socially acceptable; until the same applies to driving your son or daughter to school in a gas-guzzling 4x4, Helm is right: we are not very serious about climate change. Tracy: Thanks to everyone for tuning into another edition of Energy Examined. The second problem with the deep-green approach is that even assuming rich people in the west could be persuaded to curb their consumption, it would not stop CO2 emissions from rising. Africa is far greener than the UK, the US or Germany, largely because of hydroelectric power in countries such as Ethiopia. It would involve the share of gas used in power generation rising from just over 20% to more than 35%; coal with carbon capture and storage rising from almost zero to just under 10%; renewables increasing from around 5% to just over 20%; and finally, nuclear power almost doubling from just under 10%. And who's going to replace that production? The size of the global middle class has increased, and consumers in Shanghai and Mumbai have been able to afford cars and fridge-freezers. Tracy: OK, so let's get right into that, then, when we're talking about Canada's economic recovery, what that could look like. In 2043, the fossil fuel age is over: nuclear power stations ar e melting down, there is no access to the electricity grid and solar panels are so prized that they are looted. Like, I was looking at one study just this morning and it's saying that, 'well, yeah, oil, the oil industry, that's it now it's done. However that unfolds, there's an offsetting asset. Look at Norway. This is not just about carbon taxes. Life expectancy was 40 at best, the working week was long, disease was rife and diets were poor. Well, if you think about it from that perspective, then when you look at the resource industry in Canada and the oil and gas sector in Canada, you see something quite different. Today there are more than 7 billion. And weâre going to have a period when gas is substituted for coal.â, Helm agrees. Even if the world called a halt to economic expansion now, he adds, carbon emissions would continue rising and the world would be looking at an increase in global temperatures of 3-4C. It is a dystopian vision that looks like a brutal, dangerous version of the past â one not at all like the future that was promised when the cold war ended with victory for the western capitalist model. This is an uncomfortable thought. Nigeria can plan economy without oil, says Agusto. If the denouement of Mitchellâs novel presents one frightening future, Cuba provides another sketch of what could be in store if the transition from a fossil fuel world to one running on renewable energy does not go according to plan â less apocalyptic than The Bone Clocks, but with considerable drawbacks. It's an extremely important resource, a strategic resource for Canada and for the world. It's our political institutions as well. And so, from the point of view of the world, Canada really deserves to be in the market developing its resources. You look at Norway. In the unlikely event that investors all pulled out of fossil fuels at once, the result would be much worse than what followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 â a colossal stock market crash, followed by an equally epic slump. That is why Japanâs population is ageing and shrinking. So the government is ramping up efforts to diversify the economy. The next wave looks like it will be dominated by digital technology, robotics, biotech, lighter materials and renewable energy. In a conversation with Energy Examined host Tracy Larsson, energy thought leader Van Wielingen discusses why productive assets from a strong oil and gas industry are vital to counterbalance growing deficits, and why Canada needs to better support its homegrown industry in a global competition for investment capital, focusing on its strong environmental, social and governance standards. We do have unique problems because we have some unique assets, notably the oil sands and the tailings ponds, for example, and then we have all these abandonment liability issues, which is a policy and governance issue. Mac: Well, you know, at first, let's start marketing at home. He's a veteran energy executive. There was an acute shortage of fuel for tractors. Because I expect the amount that has to get replaced is going to be much larger than the reduction in demand, even in an aggressive transition scenario. The market model spread quickly to parts of the world that previously it could not touch: to China, where the reforms begun by Deng Xiaoping were accelerated; to India, where the idea that the worldâs biggest democracy could go it alone was abandoned; to the Soviet Union and its former satellites, which received a strong dose of economic shock treatment. 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