By Derek Brower
The Financial Times, Oct. 12, 2022
Western governments have made a global oil and gas crunch worse by “doubling down” on climate policies that will make energy markets “more volatile, more unpredictable, more chaotic”, the head of US supermajor Chevron has warned.
Mike Wirth, Chevron’s chief executive, said a premature effort to transition from fossil fuels had resulted in “unintended consequences”, including energy supply insecurity from crisis-hit Europe to California.
Despite heavy global investment in renewables in the past 20 years, fossil fuels still met about 80 per cent of global demand, and governments had to hold an “honest conversation” about the scale of the energy challenge, Wirth said.
“The conversation [about energy] in the developed world for sure has skewed towards climate, taking affordability and security for granted,” Wirth said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in San Ramon, California.
“The reality is, [fossil fuel] is what runs the world today. It’s going to run the world tomorrow and five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now.” The supermajor boss’s comments come as western governments’ climate commitments clash with an energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent inflation soaring and threatens to topple the world into recession. Last week, Russia and its ally Saudi Arabia also agreed to begin cutting oil production next month, a sign that Moscow’s energy war on Europe was taking on a global complexion. But Wirth said the source of the energy crunch predated Russia’s invasion and followed years of under-investment in new oil supply.
Read the full article on The Financial Times.