Shocking statistics: – predicts 360,000 deaths

Shocking statistics: – predicts 360,000 deaths

In short

  • A Greenpeace report warns that heat waves are the beginning of a global catastrophe and that the oil and gas industry must take responsibility.
  • Equinor, a Norwegian oil company, is specifically mentioned.
  • The report estimates that emissions from the industry could lead to 360,000 deaths by 2100.
  • Equinor promises emissions cuts, but Greenpeace calls for a global carbon damage tax.
  • This summer, heat waves have ravaged many places around the world, and according to Copernicus, the European Union's climate monitoring service, June 2024 will be the hottest June ever recorded.

    Now someone reports Greenpeace report This year's heatwave is the start of a deadly global disaster.

    The organization believes the oil and gas industry should foot the bill.

    Walking to the mountains: A pilgrim in Saudi Arabia suffers from heatstroke.  According to local authorities, more than 1,300 pilgrims reportedly died as a result of the heat in June.  Photo: Fadel Senna / AFP / NTB

    Walking to the mountains: A pilgrim in Saudi Arabia suffers from heatstroke. According to local authorities, more than 1,300 pilgrims reportedly died as a result of the heat in June. Photo: Fadel Senna / AFP / NTB
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    predicts 360,000 deaths

    Greenpeace reviewed emissions figures for nine of Europe's largest fossil fuel companies. Norwegian oil company Equinar is one of them.

    By using a method “The Death Price of Carbon ยป The Ecosystem used emissions figures to estimate how much heat-related deaths the oil and gas industry would be responsible for in the period up to 2100.

    The method used was developed by researchers at Columbia University in the US and published in the scientific journal Nature.

    Using the methodology of American researchers, Greenpeace made a very disturbing discovery:

    Temperature above 47 degrees

    Temperature above 47 degrees


    They believe emissions from the oil and gas industry could lead to at least 360,000 deaths this century as a result of global warming.

    In Equinar's throat

    According to the report, the oil extracted by Equinor led to approximately 257 megatons of CO emissions.2 In 2022. The report estimates that these emissions alone will lead to 34,000 early temperature-related deaths before 2100.

    Greenpeace still believes this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    They point out that Equinor itself reported that the company has 5,204 million barrels of oil reserves. Oil equivalents.

    Halvard Ravant, vice president of Greenpeace Norway, believes that if all this oil is brought up from the seabed, the consequences will be catastrophic.

    Change needed: Halvard Ravant, vice-president of Greenpeace Norway, has spoken strongly against the oil industry.  Photo: Jenny Marie Baksas / Greenpeace

    Change needed: Halvard Ravant, vice-president of Greenpeace Norway, has spoken strongly against the oil industry. Photo: Jenny Marie Baksas / Greenpeace
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    – If Equinor extracted all the oil and gas reserves they have, our calculations show that more than half a million people would die prematurely from heat waves and heat, he tells Dagbladet.

    It promises to reduce emissions

    Equinor Gisle Ledel Johannessen's spokesperson tells Dagbladet that the company is working to keep its own climate emissions as low as possible.

    When asked how the oil industry viewed the Greenpeace report, he replied that it was uncertain what role oil and gas would play in the coming years.

    – There is great uncertainty about what the future energy mix will look like in 2050. Our ambition is to become a climate-neutral company by 2050, including emissions from the production and consumption of oil and gas, says Johannesen.

    Researcher: That's too bad

    Researcher: That's too bad


    An Equinor spokesperson insists the Norwegian company is the most environmentally friendly in the oil and gas industry today.

    – Let's reduce emissions going forward. Our ambition is to halve our own greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 based on our emissions in 2015, Johannesen declares.

    – Oil companies have to pay the fee

    Greenpeace's Hulvard Ravant points out that the report only covers temperature-related deaths.

    Also, there are problems such as high rainfall, strong storms, reduced food production and lack of clean water.

    Greenpeace believes oil companies should pick up a bigger part of the bill. The organization proposes a carbon damage tax.

    Infiltration and improvement promises: Equinor says it is working hard to reduce emissions.  Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTP

    Infiltration and improvement promises: Equinor says it is working hard to reduce emissions. Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTP
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    – We want the carbon damage tax to go to the UN Climate Fund for loss and damage. This measure should be introduced globally. Not only in Norway, he says.

    Uncertain numbers

    Asgeir Sorteberg is a professor in the Department of Geophysics at the University of Bergen and a climate researcher at the Bjergnes Center.

    He tells Talkblade that it's difficult to estimate how many deaths heat waves will cause in the future. According to him, there are several factors to take into account:

    North Africa and the Middle East may become uninhabitable

    North Africa and the Middle East may become uninhabitable


    – We have no knowledge of the extent to which people will adapt to and tolerate higher temperatures in the future. “We don't know whether society will be better prepared for heat waves and what measures will be introduced to mitigate the harmful effects,” says the climate scientist.

    So Zoerdeberg believes it is difficult to determine how accurate Greenpeace's figures are. However he agrees with some parts of the report:

    – The biggest driver of climate change and increased temperatures is undoubtedly the oil industry.

    The researcher also agrees that overall heat waves lead to more heat-related deaths.

    – Here, he says, it is probably the poorer countries that will experience the greatest consequences in the coming years.

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    Joshi Akinjide

    Joshi Akinjide

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