E2 Round-up: Oil execs say fossil fuels remain king, the UN picks reviewers for embattled climate panel, and China and India sign up for Copenhagen deal

“Despite a bad environmental reputation and slackening demand in North America and Europe, crude oil is to remain at the core of the global energy ecosystem, at least in the eyes of national oil companies from the developing world,” notes their account.

“Global demand for petroleum will recover very strongly as population and living standards grow," said Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Khalid Al-Falih.

The Houston Chronicle has a nice wrap-up of the conference’s first day.

They note that Energy Secretary Steven Chu emphasized that the U.S. needs to speed up its efforts to transition to alternative fuels, or risk losing the clean energy race to other countries.

That said, “Some industry officials were heartened that the Obama administration's lead architect of U.S. energy policy acknowledged the role cleaner-burning natural gas can play in electricity generation and as a ‘transition to other fuels’ in coming years,” the Chronicle piece states.

This Bloomberg piece from the conference looks at remarks by ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva, who talked up the long-term potential of natural gas.

“ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said the world has centuries of natural-gas supply that can provide a long-term energy solution if policy makers choose pragmatism over ‘the pipe dreams of the hydrocarbon deniers,’” they report.

Elsewhere, The New York Times notes that China and India have formally added their names to the limited “Coenhagen Accord” reached at the tumultuous United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen late last year.

The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press report that the UN has decided that the Netherlands-based InterAcademy Council will review the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC is under fire over errors in its landmark 2007 report on the dangers of global warming. AP reports that the body will look at how the panel undertakes its reports in order to prevent similar problems the next time around.

The AP account, citing a scientist close to the situation, states that the review by the science council is supposed to be complete before the IPCC’s next annual meeting in October.

“It will be up to the InterAcademy Council to decide if it's acceptable for its reviewers to have taken part in past IPCC reports. A large number of top climate scientists have participated in the IPCC. The council will also look at whether the reports should include non-peer-reviewed ‘gray literature’ often written by governments or advocacy groups, the source said,” AP reports.

The reviewers “will also look at whether to put in procedures that could catch and correct errors better,” the story adds.