On the drive to net zero emissions, the path will be full of ...

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On the drive to net zero emissions, the path will be full of casualties

In the quest for net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the IEA has called for an end to oil exploration

Julian Lee

Last week the International Energy Agency laid out a pathway for reaching net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. One feature got a lot of attention: it called for an end to oil exploration and the development of new fields.

Sure, US drillers will complain and big producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia will worry (or ignore the warnings), but it’s the smaller countries, which rely on outside investment to drive their industries, that will suffer the most economic damage if oil companies heed the IEA’s recommendation.

The agency is not arguing that the oil industry should be prevented from looking for and developing new assets; rather, it’s saying that the fall in demand that is needed to reach the net zero goal will make such prospecting unnecessary. Still, a mass reduction in oil exploration will make things extremely difficult for countries that have relied on international companies investing billions of dollars to find and develop their oil. ..

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