Climate negotiators in Lima, Peru may get an unexpected boost from falling oil prices, leading to a decline in influence for the fossil fuel industry, a Canadian business commentator suggests.
“The decline in the status of oil—from something akin to the scarce lifeblood of industry, to just another commodity—may actually help climate change negotiators now meeting in Lima,” writes Don Pittis.
“A year ago we were still talking about worldwide oil scarcity,” he says. But “in four months we moved from dearth to glut. And many experts say that glut will not disappear quickly,” with one Canadian oil baron predicting that prices “could spike down to $30” per barrel.
With energy security a less immediate concern for Lima negotiators, and less obvious leverage for “a static or shrinking industry,” Pittis says, “the fear that we are destroying our planet for future generations gets a stronger relative voice in the public debate.”