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University of Sussex, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, Oil Change International, Uplift UK, Greenpeace Norway, The Australia Institute, and Stand.earth

November 2021

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A new report aims to cut through the rhetoric of five wealthy nations by reviewing their plans to expand the production of the primary cause of climate change — fossil fuels.

The report, called The Fossil Fuelled Five, finds that the gap between climate rhetoric and reality is dangerously wide, with wealthy nations — the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, and Australia — planning to approve and subsidize new fossil fuel projects which undermines their recent claims of leadership in addressing the climate crisis.

The report that analyzed recent government announcements and the latest data on fossil fuel production found that:

  • There is an alarming gap between what the Fossil Fuelled Five are pledging to do to reduce their domestic emissions and their plans to expand fossil fuel production, undermining efforts to curtail global emissions and ignoring their responsibility to phase out fossil fuels, rapidly and justly.

  • Coal, oil, and gas production must fall globally by 69%, 31%, and 28% respectively between now and 2030 to keep the 1.5ºC target alive. However, the projections suggest that the Fossil Fuelled Five will reduce coal production by only 30%, and actually increase oil and gas production by 33% and 27%, respectively. As wealthy nations, the Fossil Fuelled Five should be leading this transition away from fossil fuels.

  • Despite their net zero targets and climate pledges these five nations alone have provided over USD 150 billion in public support for the fossil fuel production and consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. This level of support to fossil fuel production is more than the entire G7 put towards clean energy as part of the pandemic recovery (USD 147 billion).

The report synthesizes the most recent government emissions pledges and compares them to the fossil fuel production plans in the coming decade, as well as other factors such as fossil fuel subsidies. They show that several of the world’s wealthiest nations are doubling down on fossil fuel production, which will have disastrous impacts for all life, but especially communities in the Global South who have done the least to create this crisis and have the fewest resources to adapt to its impacts.

Despite their historical responsibility for emissions, and being well-placed to finance a global just transition, these countries are also guilty of exporting large amounts of coal, oil and gas, fueling other countries’ dependency on dirty energy sources.

Click here to download the full report.

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