Green energy is all very well, but spare a thought for its many ...

World

Green energy is all very well, but spare a thought for its many victims

The world will be in chaos within a decade, as many nations follow Venezuela into post-fossil fuel collapse

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

We know what a stranded fossil state looks like. It took five years for the halving of oil prices to defund Venezuela’s rentier petro-regime and reduce Latin America’s once-richest country to a humanitarian basket case.

The economy has contracted by two thirds. Once the downward spiral began, it became self-feeding. Nearly five million people have left the country since 2018. It is the world’s largest refugee crisis after Syria.

Brent oil prices today far exceed extraction costs in Venezuela, but that is irrelevant. What matters is the “fiscal break-even cost” needed to sustain the socialist Chavista machine. The International Monetary Fund thinks this is over $200 a barrel. The Orinoco tar sands – the world’s largest crude reserves on paper – produce high-cost dirty crude that will never be viable under post-Paris decarbonisation. They are worthless...

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