Fossil Fuels: Climate Change and Security of Supply
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2012

This paper is based on an extensive assessment of the global fossil fuel markets, i.e. of the coal, gas and oil markets. The main conclusions from the work presented in this paper are that from a climate change perspective there is an abundance of fossil fuels, coal in particular. The CO2-emission potential of proven reserves of fossil fuels are up to twice as high as the global carbon budget in the 21st century required to limit the temperature increase to 2.9°C (mean estimate). Yet, apart from possibly natural gas and in spite of a large resource base, it will be increasingly difficult to meet baseline demand projections particularly for oil and cost of producing fossil fuels are likely to rise. As a consequence, in most regions there is an increasing focus on security of supply rather than on phasing out fossil fuels. Globally, there are few concrete signs that we are actually moving away from a dependency on fossil fuels and it appears extremely challenging to meet climate change targets limiting the global temperature increase to 2°C. This is partly due to the unwillingness of the developed world to agree on a strong enough political framework controlling emission reductions and partly due to low per capita demand in expanding undeveloped countries coupled with large populations and large domestic coal resources.

climate change

fossil fuel resources

carbon budget


Jan Kjärstad

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Energiteknik

Filip Johnsson

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Energiteknik

International Journal of Sustainable Water and Environmental Systems

1923-7545 (eISSN)

Vol. 4 1 79-87


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Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap

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