The fossil energy giants have taken the pulse of their political enablers and what they see is clear sailing ahead.
The world’s 50 biggest oil companies are poised to flood markets with an additional 7m barrels per day over the next decade, despite warnings from scientists that this will push global heating towards catastrophic levels.
New research commissioned by the Guardian forecasts Shell and ExxonMobil will be among the leaders with a projected production increase of more than 35% between 2018 and 2030 – a sharper rise than over the previous 12 years.
The acceleration is almost the opposite of the 45% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 that scientists say is necessary to have any chance of holding global heating at a relatively safe level of 1.5C.
The projections by Rystad Energy, a Norwegian consultancy regarded as the gold standard for data in the industry, highlight how major players seem to be ignoring government promises, scientific alarms and a growing public outcry so they can pump more fossil fuels – and profits – out of the ground.How is that even possible? If you're asking yourself that, don't. This is exactly what Schellnhuber meant when he told the delegates to the 2015 Paris climate summit that whatever hope we had of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius demanded an "induced implosion" of the world's fossil energy giants.
And what have we got? A government that shells out billions on a pipeline to triple the flow of high-carbon, toxin-laden, low-value bitumen to world markets and then pretends that's the key to a green future for Canada. Bollocks!