Big oil groups blame climate change on coal at UN summit.

FT: “….Khalid A Al-Falih, chief executive of the world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Aramco, a goliath in a fossil fuel industry that many summit speakers said would eventually need to be wiped out. ….Saudi Aramco, said Mr Al-Falih, was “committed to being a part of the climate solution the world needs”, and he was not alone.”
“Top executives from oil and gas companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Norway’s Statoil and China’s Sinopec came to New York as well to show their support for putting a price on carbon emissions and other climate measures.
But they also had a more subtle message for the assembled presidents and prime ministers: We’re not the main problem – coal is.
“Replacing coal with gas in power generation is a simple way of halving emissions,” Helge Lund, Statoil’s chief executive, told the gathering, a reference to a lump of coal producing almost twice as much carbon when burnt as natural gas – in relation to the amount of energy generated – and roughly a third more than oil.
Hege Norheim, Statoil’s head of corporate sustainability, spelt out the point more forcefully in an interview with the Financial Times in New York, where tens of thousands of people poured into the streets on Sunday, along with thousands more worldwide, in what organisers said was the biggest climate change rally ever staged.
Many marchers carried placards urging a “fossil-free” future, a demand that is far too sweeping, Ms Norheim said.
“Our message is that there is a fundamental difference between the various forms of fossil fuels, and I think that knowledge is lacking in this debate,” she said.
….“Oil and gas will be important for at least the next 30 years. That’s fundamental, and we haven’t succeeded in explaining that,” she said.
….Even without any leaks, switching from coal to natural gas-fired power stations in the US may not significantly lower emissions because the shift would delay the growth of renewable sources of energy, according to another study published this week.
“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by burning natural gas is like dieting by eating reduced-fat cookies,” said the study’s co-author, Steven Davis, of the University of California, Irvine. “It may be better than eating full-fat cookies, but if you really want to lose weight, you probably need to avoid cookies altogether.”