ENERGY TRANSITIONS & FUTURES
Our Energy Transitions and Futures program leads strategic campaigns and produces cutting-edge analysis to advance the energy transformation we need to meet global climate goals. Our focus and expertise is on the supply side – where oil, gas, and coal companies are digging fossil fuels out of the ground.
Our groundbreaking Sky’s Limit report found that existing oil and gas fields and coal mines around the world already contain enough fossil fuels to push us far beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. That’s the problem.
The solution is for governments and institutions to manage a rapid and equitable decline of fossil fuel production. We can chart a transition to clean, renewable energy that prevents climate breakdown and guarantees a bright future for workers and communities currently on the frontlines of extraction – but we have no time to waste.
OVERVIEW OF WORK
In 2016, Oil Change International released a groundbreaking report that put the urgency of winding down fossil fuel production in sharper focus than ever before. We found that already-producing oilfields, gasfields, and coal mines – where the infrastructure is already built and the capital invested – hold enough carbon to take the world well beyond 1.5°C of warming and up to 2°C. This makes two things very clear:
- The amount of fossil fuel in production is too much already – any expansion is incompatible with meeting the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement; and
- Governments must begin a just and equitable managed decline of existing fossil fuel projects – with wealthy nations in the lead – to limit warming to 1.5°C and prevent the worst climate devastation.
Our Energy Transitions and Futures program is supporting movements and pushing international and national leaders to respond to this challenge head on, and commit to the rapid and just transition off of fossil fuels that our climate goals demand.
Momentum is growing. Since August 2017, more than 500 civil society organizations across 76 countries have signed the Lofoten Declaration, calling on wealthy fossil fuel producers to lead in managing the decline of fossil fuel production.
A growing group of countries, including New Zealand, France, Belize, and Costa Rica, have begun putting limits on fossil fuel development. We’ve produced reports making the case for why Norway, Canada, California, and Germany have a responsibility to join this club of First Movers. And we’re working with influential think tanks, investors, scientists, and policymakers around the world to ensure our leaders have the tools they need to make informed energy decisions – and plan for success in meeting our climate goals.
LATEST PROGRAM POSTS
People all over the world are facing unprecedented crises from COVID-19. These tragic impacts will be the deepest in the world’s most vulnerable communities, regions and countries. IEA director Dr. Fatih Birol has urged governments worldwide to place clean energy at the heart of stimulus. Here Dr. Birol is right - but making this clean energy call count with real ambition is critical if the IEA wants to shake its reputation as a shill for the fossil fuel sector.
What America needs is a comprehensive vision for energy security, one that goes beyond fossil fuel independence. This plan should entail sustained investment in alternative fuel sources and technologies… If the United States really wants to be energy independent, it must look toward preparing for a post-oil future.”
It’s time for BP and all oil companies to stop hiding behind net-zero rhetoric and commit to immediate action on the scale of the crisis we’re in.
Later this year, OPEC will mark its 60th birthday. Former OCI staff member Greg Muttitt has contributed a chapter to an important new book on OPEC’s history and future. In a guest blog based on his chapter, he argues we need to think about OPEC less simplistically, and suggests a role for OPEC in tackling climate change by restricting its supply of oil.
OPEC, the bogeyman
OPEC doesn’t have many friends among the climate movement. Perhaps climate advocates remember the organisation’s anti-climate stance in the 1990s. For example, in 1995, OPEC and the US jointly blocked the start of negotiations that would
LATEST PROGRAM RESEARCH
The latest climate science and rapidly changing energy markets indicate the need to rapidly shift away from fossil gas, yet the IEA mistakenly presents gas as compatible with a decarbonized future. This policy brief brings together the latest energy market research with the need for reform of the World Energy Outlook.
A new study released by Oil Change International examines the role of Danish oil and gas production in a Paris-aligned global carbon budget. The report confirms that while Denmark has positioned itself as a global climate leader, its plans to expand North Sea oil and fossil gas extraction would undermine its record of climate action and would be incompatible with achieving its Paris climate commitments.
This new report reveals, for the first time, the climate impact of North Sea oil and gas extraction, and shows the way to a job-creating energy transition. To deal with the climate emergency, the UK needs to immediately stop approving new oil and gas drilling and redirect support to clean jobs and renewable energy.