The Future of Fossil Fuels in an Anti-Carbon World. March 10, 2020


Fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) were the primary source for 87% of the energy consumed worldwide in 2000 and still comprised 84% of energy consumed in 2018. In contrast, the US and most of the developed world is pushing growth of renewable forms of energy in order to reduce/halt/reverse (pick one!) CO2 emissions growth. However, most of the recent years’ growth in fossil fuels consumption and CO2 emissions comes from developing nations, especially India and China. Against this backdrop, what global energy future should we expect? What changes could materially impact global CO2 emissions? And finally, what is the likely role of fossil fuels in the next 20 years?

Steve Welch will discuss today’s widely varying roles of fossil fuels in different regions of the world and how these will (likely) change over the next 20 years. He will examine what choices could realistically be made which would truly impact the consumption of fossil fuels, and equally important reduce/halt/reverse growth of CO2 emissions. Finally, if material reductions in fossil fuels consumption are made, what are the likely major impacts to economic growth, energy security and existing geopolitical alignments?

Steve Welch

Steve Welch has 40 years global experience in the oil & gas industry, primarily with Amoco Corporation, BP plc, and Reliance Industries (India).  His energy background is diverse having led such businesses as global power generation (including wind & solar); North American natural gas sales, marketing and transport; North American Refining & Marketing; Global Petrochemicals and China; and Refining & Marketing International Businesses. He has lived overseas in Taipei, San Paulo, London and Hong Kong and been responsible for businesses of $10B to $95B in revenues.
Today Steve serves on the Board of Haws Corporation and Sage Ridge School and actively advises a number of start-up companies. Steve and wife Robin enjoy traveling, skiing, biking and spending time with their four grown children (and their spouses) and their four granddaughters.