Published by Oil Change International

SEPTEMBER 2023

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Download country specific factsheets: US, Canada, Australia, Norway, UK

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Only 20 countries, led overwhelmingly by the United States, are responsible for nearly 90 percent of the carbon-dioxide (CO2) pollution threatened by new oil and gas fields and fracking wells planned between 2023 and 2050. If this oil and gas expansion is allowed to proceed, it would lock in climate chaos and an unlivable future.

This new report, titled Planet Wreckers: How 20 Countries’ Oil and Gas Extraction Plans Risk Locking in Climate Chaos, is released days ahead of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ Climate Ambition Summit in New York City. Guterres has called for countries to show up with commitments to stop oil and gas expansion and plan a phase out of existing production in line with the 1.5°C limit.

The report shows that:

  • Only 20 Planet Wrecker countries are responsible for nearly 90 percent of the carbon-dioxide (CO2) pollution from new oil and gas fields and fracking wells planned between 2023 and 2050.
  • If these 20 Planet Wreckers said “no” to their planned new oil and gas production, as the UN Secretary General is urging them to, 173 billion tonnes (Gt) of carbon pollution would be kept in the ground. That is equivalent to the lifetime pollution of nearly 1,100 new coal plants, or more than 30 years of annual U.S. carbon emissions.
  • Oil and gas expansion by the 20 Planet Wrecker countries would make it impossible to hold temperature rise to 1.5°C. Even extracting just the fossil fuels from existing sites globally would result in 140 percent more carbon pollution than the allowed budget for 1.5°C. If these countries proceed with their new extraction, committed carbon pollution will be 190 percent over the 1.5°C budget, risking locking in more than a dangerous 2°C of warming.
  • Stopping new oil and gas would put the world closer to a 1.5°C aligned emissions trajectory but would not be enough. Without any new oil and gas fields or licenses anywhere, global oil and gas production would decline by two percent per year to 2030 and by five percent per year from 2030 to 2050. However, limiting heating to 1.5°C requires governments to go further by closing down already producing fields.
  • The United States is Planet Wrecker In Chief, accounting for more than one-third of planned global oil and gas expansion through 2050, followed by Canada and Russia. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also set to be one of the largest expanders of oil and gas production despite pledging to use its COP presidency to “keep 1.5°C alive.”
  • Five global north countries with the greatest economic means to rapidly phase out production are responsible for a majority (51 percent) of planned expansion from new oil and gas fields through 2050: the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom. New drilling in countries with high incomes, diversified economies and outsized historical responsibility for causing the climate crisis, while claiming to be climate leaders, is inexcusable. These countries must not only stop expansion immediately but also move first and fastest to phase out their production and pay their fair share to fund a just global energy transition.

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10 Comments

  • What a crock of feces.
    O&G extraction is NOT the problem. Far from it. The REAL problem is the burning of O&G.
    Why does this continue? Because politicians do not want to take responsibility and far left groups like priceofoil really do not care about AGW, but are busy pushing BS agendas.

    Want to stop the burning of FF? It is TRIViAL to stop it, and it will not involve BS stuff like this report or cooktops.

    1) create a slowly increasing tax to be applied, in whole or part, on locally consumed goods/services based on where their WORST part/sub-service comes from.
    2) this will not be applied based on current levels or normalized data. Too complex and will never happen. Instead, focus on a bottom threshold as well as emissions directions..
    If below a certain threshold, OR the last 2 years was decreasing emissions, then 0 on that part/sub-service.
    If last year down, and previous year stable, then 25%.
    If both years stable (+/- <1%) OR last years down and previous year up, then 50%.
    If last year up and previous year down/stable, then 75%.
    If both years up, then 100%.
    Now, pick the worst on this. If the worst comes from a nation with 100%, than 100% of that tax rate is applied to the whole good/service.
    If just 1 part was 50% with all the rest being below threshold, then 50% of the tax rate.
    This is based SOLELY on where the worst part is from.

    Ideally, the measurements come from satellites so that we have high precision for fairness.

    THIS is how you solve AGW.
    Not with games that solve NOTHING.

  • There is one fundamental error in this piece:
    CO2 is not a pollutant!, it is the only carbon source for all biomass and therefore the most essential nutrient of life, límited in nature…. It’s inherent warming potential is not dangerous.

  • In response to David Moore, perhaps because it’s a report on *oil* and *gas* extraction plans. OF course China’s excessive use of coal is a big problem, but that’s not what this particular report was focused on.

    In response to Windbourne, of course it’s the burning of fossil fuels that is the ultimate cause of our problems, but why would you extract oil and gas in the first place if you aren’t planning to burn it? Sure, we urgently need to find ways to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, and a carbon tax is certainly an option worth considering. But since we know we can’t even afford to burn all the fossil fuel reserves we already know about, it makes absolutely no sense to be planning to extract more, much less spending a lot of money on it, and any nation or corporation that is doing so definitely needs to be called out.

  • Our evil leaders plan to go into space after they killed earth and all life on it due to their greed. It is as if we are on the Titanic ship and it is going down, this time it is earth and it is going down. The gov’t is already sacrificing the lives of the poor, so the rich can capitalize to the last minute, just like the Titanic ship leaders locked the doors to the poor as the ship was sinking.

  • As was already mentioned, what about China’s coal extraction and burning? It’s HUGE, and Indonesia, India and Vietnam’s plans to burn more coal is a huge issue as well, not just oil and natural gas. Come on! Your analysis is skewed away from the biggest climate pollution culprit — coal.

  • This report is extremely necessary & I will read it.

    However, I think generally there is perhaps not enough focus on the alternatives to fossil fuel that are required to maintain our economies.

    For example, renewables and batteries alone will not replace the vast amount of fossil fuel we use throughout our energy and transport systems.

    Both the IRA in the US and the European REPower EU strategy contain significant subsidies for hydrogen, which is the direct, emissions-free replacement of most fossil fuels. However, not enough media & policy group attention is afforded to the fuel, and misinformation is everywhere – in many cases to protect the status quo. More focus on hydrogen is needed, because without an alternative to fossil energy the arguments against it may go unheeded.

    I look forward to reading your report.

  • OCI would do well to take a break from from the ubiquitous focus on the statistics of climate failure if governments don’t act … and instead take a deep dive into the economic & societal consequences if governments were to ACTUALLY move to significantly reduce FF production & total emissions. Energy IS the economy and FFs are more than 90% of total primary energy. The intractable problem is that any serious attempts to reduce energy output & consumption of FFs would cripple and probably quickly tank the global economy that is entirely dependent on meeting rising energy demand by burning ever more FFs. The politics are obvious: No government is going to make policy that would reduce energy supply and use, because doing so would be to intentionally shrink the output & growth in every sector of the economy. Is that a winning campaign or public policy strategy?

    The price of everything would skyrocket. Costs would drive essential enterprises out of business. Manufacturing, retail, financial markets, healthcare, jobs of every description, food production & distribution, the military – anything you can name – each “sector” depends on FFs but all are interconnected in a complex, fragile balance that depends on maintaining growth and “energy security”. So no, governments will not be attempting to shrink their economies regardless of advertised”targets”. Instead all FF producing countries have openly declared intention to ramp up FF production indefinitely while pretending that “renewables” (currently at 0.004% of primary energy) can “transition us away from FFs” and bring on the miracle of a “100% clean energy economy”. Reality is that civilization and its governments, the climate, biodiversity and the Earth System are headed for collapse that is already underway.

    So, what do I suggest? Start researching & talking about what cities, towns, local communities everywhere need to be planning & preparing for when supply chains breakdown & don’t come back; when food & water supplies, sanitation & health services, and so on, become either unaffordable or too scarce to meet demand. Who is looking comprehensively at these scenarios? We are faced with business as usual going deeply south, but the narrative is still focused on the false premise that government & industry can slow or remediate or transition away from FFs. The Great Unraveling is talked about as if talking about it, chronicling it, were enough. Serious attention to adaptation, if it is even possible for more than a few, has yet to make headlines, much less anyone’s political agenda. Thinking ahead about what communities are in for & what can be done to prepare… that’s where OCI could make a difference.

  • Alarming situation on the earth. EVERYONE must come out of the sleep at the soonest.
    Very rightly said by Mr Daniel Williams. We must think about the alternatives of fossil fuel. Renewable energy is the theme of the time. One should look for Solar energy, wind energy, etc. Also, need to work to get energy from ocean’s waves. Geothermal energy also can be looked into though I have my own doubt that over a period of time it may harm the earth, may be the cause of earth quakes, not sure. I’m not a scholar on this subject but an awaken citizen.

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