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Keeping warming within the 2 °C threshold is generally accepted as preventing atmospheric carbon from rising from its current level of 400 parts per million to extend beyond 450 parts per million.
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For purposes of simplicity, hard coal and lignite are lumped together, as are crude oil and natural gas liquids.
Most “fracking bans” are not driven primarily by a wish to reduce GHG emissions. Neither have the bans shut-in ongoing production. They have thus far only restricted future opportunities. See: Kenneth B. Medlock III: The Land of Opportunity? Policy, Constraints, and Energy Security in North America. Baker Institute research paper (2014). Available at: http://bakerinstitute.org/media/files/files/94020ec4/CES-Pub-EnergySecurity-060214.pdf (accessed January 31, 2017).
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Emissions stem from transport, compression, liquefaction and leaking methane, itself a powerful greenhouse gas. In Handbook of Clean Energy Systems, Volume 6, edited by Jinyue Yan (Wiley, Chichester, 2015); pp. 3517–3544.
Note that coal’s share is expected to rebound slightly in 2017. See: Short-Term Energy Outlook (US EIA, 2016); p. 2.
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See, for example, BankTrack’s “Top Twenty Coal Banks” Ranking. Available at: http://coalbanks.org/#score (accessed January 31, 2017).
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A large volume of literature exists on this subject. See for example: E.A. Posner and C.R. Sunstein: Climate change justice. Geo LJ
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This is a simplification of the Saudi strategy. Saudi officials take many aspects of oil markets into account. Climate factors may be outweighed by other interests, including price. In fact, the kingdom agreed to cut nearly 500,000 barrels of oil production a day in December 2016, amid a widespread agreement among producers. Further, even “unburnable” oil retains markets in petrochemicals, lubricants, etc.
Estimate from M. O’Hanlon: Energy Security: Economics, Politics, Strategies, and Implications, edited by Carlos Pascual and Jonathan Elkind (Brookings, Washington, 2010); pp. 59–72.
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Note that Exxon’s petrochemical ventures include joint ventures with Saudi Aramco, the most efficient and technologically proficient of the world’s national oil companies. See: P.R. Hartley and K.B. Medlock, III: Changes in the operational efficiency of national oil companies. Energy J.
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