Despite Shale, Middle East Remains Key to Oil Demand

Changes that Birol would like to see include a reduction in CO2 emissions, the continued rise of which has put the world on an unsustainable path. With more than two-thirds of emissions that lead to climate change coming from the energy sector, Birol noted that this a trend that needs to change. In many countries – particularly emerging economies in the Middle East and Asia – the consumption of fossil fuels is heavily subsidized.

Birol also would like to see the 1.3 billion people that currently have no access to electricity – mainly in sub-Saharan Africa – to be connected to the world’s electric grid. No electricity means no refrigerators or other electrical appliances commonly found in the homes of developed countries. Given current policies, however, over 1 billion people will still not have access to electric power over the next two decades. 


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