OPEC is playing into Thunberg’s hands on climate change

OPEC would be wise to avoid picking a fight with Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old poster child of the Extinction Rebellion movement wants to bring the fossil fuel era to an abrupt end, regardless of the economic risks. Branding her populist methods an enemy could make big oil an easier target for protesters to aim at. That is exactly the mistake OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo has made. The head of the oil cartel – which pumps just under a third of the world’s crude – was quoted last week saying that attacks leveled at producers by a “growing mass mobilization of world opinion” had become “perhaps the greatest threat to our industry going forward.” Unabashed, Barkindo doubled down by arguing “civil society is being misled to believe oil is the cause of climate change.” All music to the young ears of Thunberg. The Swedish teenager described the comments as “our biggest compliment yet” in a brief tweet to her army of 723,000 followers on the social media platform. The pithy response simultaneously drew attention to Barkindo’s imprudent choice of words, made to a pack of energy reporters at last week’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, and turned the sights of the… continue reading

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