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Views on peak oil and its relation to climate change policy

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  • Verbruggen, Aviel
  • Al Marchohi, Mohamed

Abstract

Definitions of fossil fuel reserves and resources and assessed stock data are reviewed and clarified. Semantics explain a large stake of conflict between advocate and critical voices on peak oil. From a holistic sources-sinks perspective, limited carrying capacity of atmospheric sinks, not absolute scarcity in oil resources, will impose tight constraints on oil use. Eventually observed peaks in oil production in nearby years will result from politically imposed limits on carbon emissions, and not be caused by physical lack of oil resources. Peak-oil belief induces passive climate policy attitudes when suggesting carbon dioxide emissions will peak naturally linked to dwindling oil supplies. Active policies for reducing emissions and use of fossil fuels will also encompass higher energy end-use prices. Revenues obtained from higher levies on oil use can support financing energy efficiency and renewable energy options. But when oil producers charge the higher prices they can pump new oil for many decades, postponing peak oil to occur while extending carbon lock-in.

Suggested Citation

  • Verbruggen, Aviel & Al Marchohi, Mohamed, 2010. "Views on peak oil and its relation to climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5572-5581, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:5572-5581
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Russo, D. & Dassisti, M. & Lawlor, V. & Olabi, A.G., 2012. "State of the art of biofuels from pure plant oil," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 4056-4070.
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    10. Ringsmuth, Andrew K. & Landsberg, Michael J. & Hankamer, Ben, 2016. "Can photosynthesis enable a global transition from fossil fuels to solar fuels, to mitigate climate change and fuel-supply limitations?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 134-163.
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    12. Dinwoodie, John & Tuck, Sarah & Rigot-Müller, Patrick, 2013. "Maritime oil freight flows to 2050: Delphi perceptions of maritime specialists," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 553-561.

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