The oil, gas, and coal production plans of some of the world's biggest oil, gas, and coal producers far exceed the emissions targets set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a UN report has warned.
The report by the United Nations Environmental Program found that 15 big fossil fuel producers intended to produce 110 percent more oil, coal, and gas in 2030 than is consistent with the Paris Agreement's scenario for limiting rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees from the pre-industrial era, and 45 percent more than is consistent with the 2-degree scenario.
What's more, the world's big fossil fuel producers plan to continue raising oil and gas production over the next twenty years. On top of that, coal production is seen declining only marginally, according to the authors of the report. This is even more out of sync with Paris Agreement targets, the report warned.
"The devastating impacts of climate change are here for all to see. There is still time to limit long-term warming to 1.5°C, but this window of opportunity is rapidly closing," Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said in the news release for the report.
"At COP26 and beyond, the world's governments must step up, taking rapid and immediate steps to close the fossil fuel production gap and ensure a just and equitable transition. This is what climate ambition looks like."
The study detailed in the report examined the fossil fuel extraction plans of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
It found that the governments of most of these countries are still supportive of their fossil fuel plans despite the green energy transition drive.
"The research is clear: global coal, oil, and gas production must start declining immediately and steeply to be consistent with limiting long-term warming to 1.5°C," says Ploy Achakulwisut, a lead author on the report. "However, governments continue to plan for and support levels of fossil fuel production that are vastly in excess of what we can safely burn."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Only when renewable become capable of satisfying global energy demand or when effective and convenient alternatives to oil and gas are developed will oil and gas production decline.
However, I very much doubt that renewables on their own could ever satisfy global demand for electricity or versatile and practicable alternatives to oil and gas could be developed in the next 100 years.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
And I'm also betting that they are going to walk with all the other participants to the Climate Symposium in Scotland.