Mar 1, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus scuttles huge energy industry gathering

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark makes remarks during the 2019 CERAWeek conference. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images

The huge CERAWeek energy conference in Houston that was slated to begin March 9 has been canceled due to concerns about the novel coronavirus, organizers announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The week-long annual conference is among the world's biggest and most prominent industry gatherings, drawing CEOs of the world's most powerful energy companies, energy ministers, U.S. Cabinet secretaries, OPEC leadership and more.

  • People from over 80 countries had been expected to attend, per the consultancy IHS Markit, which organizes the event.
  • It combines speeches and panel discussions with exclusive, closed-door gatherings.

What they're saying: "Over the last few days concern has mounted rapidly about the COVID-19 coronavirus. ... Our number one concern is the health and safety of delegates and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and vendors," IHS Markit said in announcing the cancellation.

Go deeper

Fueled by coronavirus, global oil demand set to drop record amount

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Global oil demand in the first quarter of 2020 is expected to decline by the largest amount in recorded history, IHS Markit projected Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The decline, which is set to exceed even what occurred in the 2009 financial crisis, is being driven by the spread of the novel coronavirus and subsequent stunted economic activity in China.

Thousands sign petition for SXSW to be canceled because of coronavirus

A SXSW panel in March 2019. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

More than 15,000 people have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of the upcoming SXSW festival in Austin, Texas — though organizers insist the event will go on as scheduled this month.

Why it matters: The show is a huge gathering that brings in tons of tourism revenue to the city, but also brings together people from all over the world into lots of tightly packed spaces.

10 ways coronavirus is changing energy and climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The novel coronavirus, upending our world as we know it, is also changing how we consume energy and address climate change.

Driving the news: The various impacts are occurring both now and into the future. Most changes don’t bode well for acting on climate change and transitioning to cleaner energy.