Predictions of the demise of the fossil fuel industry are based almost wholly on energy. In future, goes the argument, we are going to use clean energy and so we will be able to leave fossil fuels in the ground as ‘stranded assets’, as Mark Carney would call them.
It is proving hard enough to decarbonise the energy sector, but it tends to be forgotten that at present we rely on coal, gas and oil for many other things, too, such as fertilisers, a reducing agent in the steelmaking process and the manufacture of plastics.
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