FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
22 March 2022
Oil Change International reacts to new Tyndall Centre report
Rich countries must end oil and gas production within 12 years and fund Global South transitions
LONDON, UK — A new report released today by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the UK concludes that wealthy, economically diversified countries, which currently account for more than a third of global oil and gas production, need to phase out their extraction by 2034 for the world to maintain a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. This analysis, which is the first study to assign dates at which countries should phase out their production of oil and gas on the basis of equity, also highlights that a globally just transition will require wealthy countries to fund a systemic transition away from fossil fuels in the Global South, over and above their existing debts for climate finance and reparations.
The Tyndall report, Phase out pathways for fossil fuel production within Paris-compliant carbon budgets, sets practical phase-out pathways for five different groups of countries based on their capacity to fund a quick and just transition away from fossil fuels. The report finds that, for a one-in-two chance of staying below 1.5°C, the richest countries must cut output by 74% by 2030 and phase out production by 2034. In line with the conclusions of the International Energy Agency, the report also confirms the need for an immediate end to the expansion of oil and gas production to limit warming to 1.5°C.
The report warns that delaying action would either put 1.5°C beyond reach or require a more rapid phase-out exacerbating economic hardship, particularly for poorer nations. OCI analysis shows that rich countries plan to produce five times as much oil and gas in 2030 as is compatible with the central trajectory outlined in this new report.
The findings of the report indicate that an accelerated phase out of fossil fuel production in the Global North alone will not be enough to secure an equitable outcome. While the report proposes a longer timeline for poorer countries to phase out their oil and gas production, they will still be hard hit by the loss of income, and will require significant financial support from wealthy countries to diversify their economies and transition to renewable energy to secure their energy needs.
Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Lead at Oil Change International, said:
“This report is a stark indictment of the climate failure of rich countries. Rich countries have twelve years to end their production of oil and gas but none has any plans to do so. In fact, not only do they still account for more than a third of global production, but they also plan to produce five times as much oil and gas by 2030 as is compatible with the trajectory outlined in this report.
“This report highlights the deep and profoundly unjust consequences of climate inaction by rich producing countries: their continued reliance on fossil fuels has depleted the carbon budget to such an extent that even the poorest countries would need to stop producing a mere 15 years after the richest ones. The longer countries delay the inevitable phase out of oil and gas, the more dire the economic and social consequences will be down the line. This report reminds us that the response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine cannot be for governments to prop up new oil and gas infrastructure around the world.”
Bronwen Tucker, Public Finance Co-Lead at Oil Change International, said:
“This new research bursts the bubble that ‘net zero by 2050’ plans from wealthy oil and gas producers count as ‘climate leadership’ once and for all. These wealthy countries need near-term plans for a just transition to phase out their production instead. But this alone will not secure an equitable outcome. Decades of delayed action now mean that to do their fair share, Global North countries must also fund a just transition to a 100% renewable future in low-income oil and gas producing countries. This must be paid over and above their existing debts for climate finance and reparations to the Global South, which are already conservatively estimated at $2.3 trillion a year.”
Thuli Makama, Africa Program Director at Oil Change International, said:
“Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, eyes have turned to Africa to plug the fossil fuel shortfall — and leaders and financial institutions must steer clear of this resource curse trap. Aside from the lack of infrastructure to provide additional oil and gas exports in the short term, production and extraction have been wreaking havoc in communities across the Global South for decades. This exploitation of resources by foreign countries and institutions does not bring the promised economic and social development — instead it exacerbates inequalities, causes environmental destruction and human rights abuses, fuels corruption, and deepens vulnerabilities of communities affected by the climate crisis; while the largest shares of the profit benefit the economies of the Global North.
“New oil and gas is not the answer, instead it will perpetuate the unjust system associated with extractive economic models, while delaying a just energy transition. Africa and the Global South have the opportunity to generate inclusive development through a just transition to renewable energy that is far better suited to addressing our energy access and economic needs, and Global North countries have the obligation to support this transition.”
Collin Rees, United States Lead at Oil Change International, said:
“As the world grapples with Russia’s tragic invasion of Ukraine, Big Oil and Gas are attempting to harness the crisis to boost shareholder profits and lock in decades’ more pollution. Oil and gas boosters claim more fossil fuels are the answer, but nothing could be further from the truth. Rich nations like the United States must resist cynical calls to commit to a fossil-fueled future and instead act first and fastest to carefully phase-out their own extraction while funding other countries to transition away from fossil fuel production. In regions like California, not only is an immediate ban on new extraction a necessity, but this new research confirms that all oil and gas production should be phased out by the early 2030s at latest. Global equity demands swift action to preserve a manageable transition — Joe Biden, Gavin Newsom, and other U.S. leaders must heed this call while there’s still time.”