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UN Report: Fossil Fuel Production Plans Are Not Aligned With Climate Goals

Plans for fossil fuel extraction by 2030 reveal that production of oil, natural gas, and coal would be more than double than what would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a new report by the United Nations and climate think tanks showed on Wednesday.

Current plans by governments mean fossil fuel production in 2030 would be

69% more than would be consistent with 2 degrees Celsius, the less ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, according to the report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Climate Analytics, E3G, and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

“When combined, government plans would lead to an increase in global coal production until 2030, and in global oil and gas production until at least 2050, creating an ever-widening fossil fuel production gap over time,” UNEP said in a statement.  

Most countries featured in the report have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but none have committed to reduce coal, oil, and gas production in line with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most ambitious target in the Paris Agreement, the report found.

“Governments are literally doubling down on fossil fuel production; that spells double trouble for people and planet,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

“COP28 must send a clear signal that the fossil fuel age is out of gas — that its end is inevitable.”

The report was published weeks before the COP28 climate summit which starts at the end of this month in the United Arab Emirates.

As the summit approaches, the world continues to be divided on the future of fossil fuels and the pathway to drastically reduce emissions. 

Expectations are—as in previous such summits—that the leaders of the countries could reach common ground on at least phasing down fossil fuels or a timeline to phase out coal. Chances are not high that the heads of state and government would manage this time to agree on a text to set a timeline for phasing out fossil fuels amid energy security concerns and issues with access to any form of electricity for millions of people in developing countries.   

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on November 08 2023 said:
    Fossil fuel production plans may not be aligned with climate goals but more importantly they are totally aligned with reality, energy security and the needs of the global economy.

    The global economy needs increasing volumes of fossil fuels well into the future to be able to function properly, grow and satisfy the needs of a growing world population.

    For the overwhelming majority of countries, energy security, affordability and sustainability are immediate issues while limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is an issue for the distant future. Moreover, notions of imminent energy transition and net-zero emissions are myths. They will never be achieved by 206=50 or 2100 or ever.

    Fossil fuels are here to stay until renewables can satisfy on their own global energy needs, an unthinkable and dubious prospect.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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