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Oil demand could peak by 2025 and fall more than 30% by 2050 if countries take aggressive steps to hold the long-term global temperature rise to under 2°C, Barclays analysts say in a new report.

Expand chart
Data: Reproduced from Barclays; Chart: Axios Visuals

But, but, but: That's nowhere near the trajectory things are pointing to now (seen as "development" in chart), which leads to a peak in the 2030–2035 range, but then a "long plateau" to mid-century that keeps demand at roughly today's levels.

Threat level: A 3rd scenario modeled — "deadlock" in the chart above — shows much higher demand if the world is mired in trade wars, tech uptake is hindered, and there's little focus on climate.

Why it matters: The report is a major new entry into attempts by forecasting bodies, consultancies and major energy companies to get their arms around how the global energy system will — and won't — transform in the decades ahead.

The big picture: The report's climate-friendly "dynamism" scenario would require circumstances to line up in a very particular way — and not just for oil — to keep things under 2°C.

Of note: That break with current trends would involve an array of big steps such as...

  • Larger industry and national investments in efficiency and technology.
  • Even faster growth and deployment of renewables, which are 40% of the global energy mix mid-century.
  • Greater electrification of energy demand, rising to 35% by 2050.
  • Greater recycling, cutting single-use plastics and other steps to slow the growth rate of oil used in petrochemicals.
  • Significant adoption of carbon capture and storage from 2040 onwards, more than twice as much as in their business-as-usual "development" scenario.

By the numbers: Getting back the main focus of the report — oil — here's a look at where Barclays sees things heading in "development."

Overall, it sees demand just slightly higher at 105 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2050, which is roughly 5 mbd above current levels. But the uses of that oil change. Per the report:

  • Oil use in passenger cars falls from roughly 22 mbd right now to slightly under 20 mbd as efficiency gains (the biggest factor) and EVs offset the huge rise of cars on the world's roads.
  • Growth of the global trucking fleet means that its oil consumption rises from 24.5 mbd to nearly 30, despite gains in efficiency and electrification.
  • Oil needed for jet fuel rises from 6.2 mbd to 9.2 mbd in 2050.
  • Growth in petrochemicals nearly doubles that sector's demand to 18.6 mbd in 2050.

The intrigue: Speaking of petrochemicals, the report has some interesting data and projections about single-use plastics. They matter a lot!

  • "A complete ban on single use plastics would reduce our estimate of oil demand in the development scenario by 6mb/d in 2050," it notes.

Go deeper: The U.S. oil boom's global climate and greenhouse gas effect

Go deeper

31 mins ago - World

Honduras elects first female president

Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro, of the Libertad y Refundacion (Libre) Party, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Sunday. Photo: Inti Ocon/Getty Images

Former Honduras first lady Xiomara Castro is set to become the country's first female president president, after the ruling party conceded defeat in the country's elections on Tuesday night, per AP.

Why it matters: The democratic socialist and her Libre Party have broken a 12-year run for the conservative National Party, which U.S. prosecutors alleged fostered a "narco-state," note Axios' Latinos' Marina E. Franco and Russell Contreras.

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

4 hours ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.