Abstract

Global climate change is one of the serious problems faced by humankind in the 21st century. Developing policies and practices that tackle climate change without removing opportunities for growth and development has become one of the most significant challenges for governments and industry. The oil companies may contribute to the greenhouse gas control by developing low carbon energy, capturing, utilizing and storing carbon dioxide, continuously improving the energy efficiency and providing efficient products. To realize the greenhouse gas control goal, the need for technological innovation is dramatic and increasing. The companies are suggested to manage the relavant technologies in a strategic way, care and participate in the policy making and join the international network to accelerate the innovation process. The strategy, practice and technological innovation cases of CNPC in greenhouse gas control are introduced.

The challenge of global climate change

Global climate change is one of the serious problems faced by humankind in the 21st century. In particular, with increasing growth of fossil fuel (such as coal and oil) consumption, the emission of greenhouse gas (such as CO2) has kept growing.

According to the WEO (world energy outlook) 2008, in the Reference Scenario, rising global fossil-fuel use will continue to drive up energy-related CO2 emissions, from 28 Gt in 2006 to 41 Gt in 2020 - an increase of 45%. The Reference Scenario trends in world energy use put the world on course for the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere to double from 380 parts per million in 2005 to around 700 ppm in the next century. Taking into account all greenhouse gases in all sectors, this would lead to a CO2-equivalent (CO2-eq) concentration of around 1 000 ppm, corresponding to a rise in global average temperature of up to 6°C, relative to pre-industrial levels.

There is a growing scientific consensus that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are driving detrimental climate change. If GHG emissions are not reduced to significantly below current levels within the next few decades, there will be further warming and sea-level rise for centuries to come. This will result in adverse impacts on human health, natural ecosystems, and the economy. Co-ordinated action is needed urgently to put the world on a different emissions trajectory (figure 1).

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