Global demand for oil ‘could drop by 80 per cent by 2050’

BP is predicting that global demand for oil will drop by up to 80 per cent by 2050 if governments around the world boost their climate targets and take action to bring about a green recovery from COVID-19.

The energy giant’s 2020 Energy Outlook Report focuses on three different potential scenarios; rapid, net zero and business as usual (BAU). The Rapid Transition Scenario looked at the impact of significantly higher carbon prices, along with specific, targeted measures that would help ‎carbon emissions from energy use to fall by around 70 per cent by 2050.

The Net Zero Scenario assumes the same high prices and policy measures, but reinforced by significant shifts in societal behaviour and preferences, which would allow carbon emissions from energy to fall by 95 per cent globally in 2050. 

The BAU Scenario government policies, technologies and social ‎preference follow the same trajectory that they are on currently. While this would mean carbon emissions fall – peaking in the mid-2020s – progress would be slow, with emissions less than 10 per cent below 2018 levels by 2050.

The report states that under all scenarios oil demand will remain “broadly flat” on 2019 levels until a slight peak in 2030, followed by a decline of 10 per cent between 2030 and 2050. This assumes that “government policies, technologies and social preferences continue to evolve in a manner and speed seen over the recent past".

The report concludes that renewables will be the “fastest-growing source of energy” in the coming decades in all scenarios assessed. The energy market will change, leading to a more diverse energy mix, greater consumer choice, more localised markets and increasing levels of integration and competition.

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