Global Fossil Fuel Production in 2030 Exceeds Climate Goals, Warns UN Report
A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, released ahead of the upcoming COP 28 climate meeting, reveals that global fossil fuel production is projected to more than double the levels deemed consistent with the climate goals set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The report underscores the critical need for a phase-out of fossil fuels to align with the 1.5°C target.
The COP 28 meeting, starting on November 30 in the United Arab Emirates, will focus on pivotal issues, including the urgent need for a fossil fuel phase-out. Ploy Achakulwisut, a scientist from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and lead author of the report, emphasized the necessity for countries to commit to eliminating all fossil fuels to preserve the 1.5°C goal.
While the Paris Agreement calls for limiting average temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius and aiming for an even more ambitious target of 1.5°C, the report highlights the failure of nations to agree on international phaseout dates for coal, gas, or oil use.
Analyzing the plans of the 20 major fossil fuel producers, the report reveals that they collectively intend to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than is consistent with the 1.5°C warming limit, and 69% more than aligns with the 2°C target. Notably, none of these countries have committed to reducing coal, oil, and gas production in line with the 1.5°C goal.
While 17 of the countries have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions, the report exposes their continued promotion, subsidization, and expansion planning of fossil fuel production. The 20 countries analyzed represent 82% of global fossil fuel production and 73% of consumption, including Australia, China, Norway, Qatar, Britain, the UAE, and the United States.
The report, a collaborative effort of UNEP, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and think-tanks E3G and Climate Analytics, underscores the pressing need for global action to address the escalating challenges of fossil fuel production and its impact on climate goals.