Fuel Plans Won't Meet Climate 10/20 06:32
The world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas
in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global warming from
reaching dangerous levels, according to a U.N.-backed study released Wednesday.
LONDON (AP) -- The world needs to cut by more than half its production of
coal, oil and gas in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global
warming from reaching dangerous levels, according to a U.N.-backed study
The report published by the U.N. Environment Program found that while
governments have made ambitious pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions, they
are still planning to extract double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than
what would be consistent with the 2015 Paris climate accord's goal of keeping
the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Even the less ambitious goal of capping global warming at 2 degrees C (3.6
degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times
would be overshot, it said.
Climate experts say the world must stop adding to the total amount of
greenhouse gas in the atmosphere by 2050, and that can only be done by
drastically reducing the burning of fossil fuels as soon as possible, among
The report, which was released days before a U.N. climate summit begins Oct.
31 in Glasgow, found most major oil and gas producers -- and even some major
coal producers -- are planning on increasing production until 2030 or even
It also concluded that the group of 20 major industrialized and emerging
economies have invested more into new fossil fuel projects than into clean
energy since the start of 2020.
The disparity between climate goals and fossil fuel extraction plans --
termed the "production gap" -- will widen until at least 2040, the report found.
This would require increasingly steep and extreme measures to meet the Paris
emissions goal, UNEP said.
"There is still time to limit long term warming to 1.5C, but this window of
opportunity is rapidly closing," said the agency's executive director, Inger
Andersen, adding that governments should commit to closing the gap at the
Glasgow climate summit.
The report, which had more than 40 researchers contributing, examine 15
major fossil fuel-producing countries.
For the United States, they found that government projections show oil and
gas production increasing to 17% and 12%, respectively, by 2030 compared to
2019 levels. Much of that would be exported, meaning the emissions from burning
those fossil fuels would not show up in the U.S. inventory although they would
add to the global total.
U.S. coal production is projected to decline by 30% over the coming decade
compared to 2019.
Costa Rica's environment and energy minister said the report shows the need
to stop extracting fossil fuels to meet the Paris goals.
"We must cut with both hands of the scissors, addressing demand and supply
of fossil fuels simultaneously," Andrea Meza said.
Costa Rica and Denmark are planning to launch a new group at the Glasgow
summit, the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, to promote that effort.