Are Net Zero Oil Emissions by 2050 Possible?

Oil barrels or chemical drums stacked up

Energy experts have been trying to figure out what will happen to oil demand by 2050 when we aim to have no more harmful emissions into the atmosphere. They thought they had a long time to get ready for it.

But now, the deadline is getting closer and it looks like it will be harder to reach the goal than they thought. This week, BP released a report about oil demand in the future. The report has three different ideas about how oil demand may change. The best case scenario is to have no harmful emissions, but it doesn't seem to match what's happening now.

In this best case, BP thinks that by mid-century, the world will use only 21 million barrels of oil per day, which is much less than the 98 million we use today. Even by 2025, just two years from now, BP thinks oil demand will be 4 million barrels lower per day. That's like taking away all of Germany's oil use in one year and doing it again the next year!

Most experts think oil demand will go up this year and next year. BP thinks oil demand will have to fall a lot more from 2026 to 2030, to only 85 million barrels a day. That's like taking away all of France's oil use every year for 5 years!

After 2030, it will get even harder. BP thinks the world will only use 70 million barrels of oil per day in 2035, which is like taking away all of Japan's oil use every year.

It seems like the goal of having no harmful emissions by 2050 is becoming harder to reach. It may be possible to use less oil by 2050, but it's not likely to happen quickly.



Source: Javier Blas at


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