Oil and coal producers want to rein in the speed

The daily production of millions of tons of fossil fuels is a major cause of global warming. Despite their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, governments around the world are maintaining plans to produce more coal, oil and gas. Photo: Marek Pionecki/Unsplash

STOCKHOLM (By IPS Correspondent) A report released on Wednesday, September 8, warned that governments plan to double current production of fossil fuels by 2030, which amounts to stepping on the accelerator in the race to limit global warming. United Nations Environment Programme (United Nations Environment Program).

“The government’s plans to expand fossil fuel production undermine the energy transition needed to achieve the net-zero emissions goal and put humanity’s future under the microscope,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Net zero emissions is a global goal such that by 2050, emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) from the production and consumption of fossil fuels, are reduced and balanced – net zero – with those absorbed by human activity.

But a new 2023 production gap study shows that major fossil fuel producers are planning more extraction despite their climate pledges, up to 110% above the level needed to limit global warming.

This is if the goal is for the average temperature of the planet in 2050 not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial era levels (1850-1900).

Even if we take into account the goal of not increasing temperatures more than 2 degrees, plans to increase oil, gas and coal production show an increase of 69%.

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“Governments’ plans to expand fossil fuel production undermine the energy transition needed to achieve the net-zero emissions goal and put humanity’s future in check”: Inger Andersen.

he Stady It was prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Canadian International Institute for Sustainable Development, and the US and European analysis groups E3G and Climate Analytics.

UNEP highlights that plans to expand fossil fuel production are inconsistent with promises made by 151 national governments to achieve the net-zero emissions target.

Likewise, the latest scientific estimates suggest that global demand for coal, oil and gas will peak this decade (2020-2029), even without taking into account new policies supporting extraction.

Because of both factors, current governments’ plans would increase global coal production until 2030, and global oil and gas production until at least 2050, creating an ever-widening gap in coal and fossil fuel production over time.

The study suggests that given the risks and uncertainties involved in carbon capture, storage and carbon dioxide removal, countries should aim to almost completely eliminate coal production and use by 2040.

On the other hand, it should reduce the production and use of both gas and oil by at least 75% by 2050 compared to 2020 levels.

That year, the world produced 4.175 million tons of crude oil (an average of 88 million barrels of 159 liters per day), 3.860 trillion (millions) of cubic meters of gas, and 7.740 million tons of coal, according to British estimates. Energy Institute.

The report presents detailed profiles of 20 of the countries with the largest fossil fuel production: Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria and Norway. Qatar, the United Kingdom, Russia and South Africa.

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Although 17 of these 20 countries have committed to reducing emissions to zero (and many have launched reduction initiatives), none have committed to reducing coal, oil and gas production in line with the goal of limiting the increase in emissions. .

On the contrary, their profile data show that most of these governments continue to provide significant political and financial support for fossil fuel production.

“Many governments are promoting fossil gas as a primary ‘transitional’ fuel, but with no clear plans to abandon it later,” said Ploy Achakolisot of the Stockholm Institute and co-author of the report.

He lamented, saying: “We are already on track to produce 460% more coal, 82% more gas, and 29% more oil in this decade, which would be consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.” At the Canadian institute that participated in the study.

In order to keep the 1.5°C target alive, “scientific findings suggest that we must begin as soon as possible to reduce global production and consumption of coal, oil, and gas, increase clean energy, and reduce methane emissions from all regions.” Achakolisut said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres lamented that “governments are literally doubling the production of fossil fuels, which means doubling the problems facing people and the planet.”

“We cannot confront climate catastrophe without eliminating its root cause: dependence on fossil fuels,” Guterres said.

In his view, the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which begins on November 30 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, “must convey an unambiguous message that the era of fossil fuels is indeed over.” Its elimination is inevitable.”

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