OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers

The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 52 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organizes an annual summit of ministers. Our work is underpinned by economic research, statistics collection and policy analysis, often undertaken in collaboration with many of the world's leading research figures in academia, business and government. This series of Discussion Papers is intended to disseminate the International Transport Forum’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned.

English, French

Reserve Driven Forecasts for Oil, Gas & Coal and Limits in Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Peak Oil, Peak Gas, Peak Coal and Peak CO2

The increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is coursed by an increasing use of fossil fuels; natural gas, oil and coal. This has so far resulted in an increase of the global surface temperature of the order of one degree. In year 2000 IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released 40 emission scenarios that can be seen as images of the future, or alternative futures. They are neither predictions nor forecasts and actual reserves have not been a limited factor, just the fossil fuel resource base. This paper is based on realistic reserve assessments, and CO2 emissions from resources that cannot be transformed into reserves are not allowed. First we can conclude that CO2 emission from burning oil and gas are lower then what al the IPCC scenarios predict, and emission from coal is much lowers then the majority of the scenarios. IPCC emission scenarios for the time period 2020 to 2100 should in the future not be used for climate change predictions. It’s time to use realistic scenarios. Climate change is current with more change to come, and furthermore, climate change is an enormous problem facing the planet. However, the world’s greatest problem is that too many people must share too little energy. In the current political debate we presumably need to replace the word “environment” with “energy”, but thankfully the policies required to tackle the energy problem will greatly benefit the environment.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error