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Oil not to blame for climate change: OPEC


Thu Apr 2, 2009 1:27pm EDT

By Tom Bergin

PARIS (Reuters) – OPEC said oil was not to blame for climate change and consuming countries should pay to fight the threat, while the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell said drivers could help by not buying Hummer sports utility vehicles.

“Oil is not responsible,” the producer group’s Secretary General, Abdullah al-Badri, told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the International Oil Summit in Paris.

“It is the industrialized countries which are making all this pollution in the world.”

Scientists say the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, is a key factor in climate change.

Badri said the revenues from high taxes that some industrialized countries, including most western European nations, place on oil products should be diverted to environmental projects.

OPEC, whose member countries pump more than a third of the world’s oil, has supported the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, which encourage reductions in emissions of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2).

However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has also opposed plans to reduce oil consumption and advocated adaptation to climate change.

Badri criticized the subsidies developed countries offer to promote renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Most of the larger international oil companies accept the role of oil and gas in man-made climate change.

Jeroen van der Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second-largest oil company by market value, told the same conference that drivers should help fight climate change by using more fuel efficient vehicles.

Recalling his happy student days driving a 2CV, a famously basic, and fuel efficient, Citroen, van der Veer said: “You don’t need a Hummer to be happy.”

Consumers and General Motors, which owns the Hummer brand, have come to the same conclusion. Falling sales of the military-derived vehicle, which has become synonymous with gas-guzzling excess, have prompted GM to put the Hummer brand up for sale.

(Editing by Anthony Barker)


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