The IEA is hardly a left wing think tank. They advise governments on energy and are now warning that climate change poses a threat to the oil rig platforms in the North Sea. In an article by Tom Bawden in the Independent , the bigger waves and storms could add to the danger and expense of drilling for oil and gas.
To those who still think solar activity or maybe poltergeists are responsible for the intensification of storms, floods, fires, droughts and tornados, perhaps the view from the IEA will reveal the scale of the risks.
But then, wouldn’t it be ironic if the very climate change caused by burning fossil fuels causes an end to drilling for fossil fuels?
Quoting from the article:
Announcing that global greenhouse emissions jumped by 1.6 per cent to a new record last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the world is on course for a 4C temperature increase in the long-term. This is double the 2C global warming goal agreed by nearly 200 countries but yet to be translated into a legally-binding target. "A 2C difference doesn't mean that you just need to take your jacket off, it would have devastating implications," said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol. Unless the world takes dramatic action to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, we can expect "sudden and devastating" consequences, such as a significant increase in the frequency and severity of storms, he warned. A temperature rise of anything approaching 4C would hit the North Sea oil and gas industry hard, fostering stronger and more frequent storms. The stormier weather would add "hundreds of millions" of pounds to the costs of the North Sea oil and gas industry, in the form of damage, lost production and, most of all, the construction costs to strengthen the platforms, Mr Birol said. And even if the temperature rise is less dramatic, the hydrocarbon producers should take pre-emptive action now and invest heavily to boost their infrastructure, he added. "Oil companies need to strengthen their platforms. This will lead to higher costs but will improve the resilience of the structures," said Mr Birol.