FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nicole Rodel, Oil Change International – email@example.com / +27842570627
Report confirms governments’ fossil fuel expansion plans would blow 1.5°C limit
November 8, 2023 – Today the UN published the 2023 Production Gap Report, confirming governments’ plans to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than is compatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C, despite climate promises. By 2050, planned fossil fuel production is projected to be 350% above levels consistent with the 1.5°C limit.
The report shows that since 2019, the global production gap has stayed largely the same – meaning that while there has been an increase in renewable energy deployment, governments have continued with planned fossil fuel production that is incompatible with achieving global climate targets. It emphasizes that an increase in renewable energy does not automatically translate to a decrease in fossil fuels at the scale and pace necessary. Renewable deployment must go hand in hand with active government policies to reduce fossil fuel supply and other mitigation measures to increase the effectiveness of the transition.
The report stresses that fossil fuel production must start declining immediately in order to align with 1.5°C pathways and raises the alarm on the risks associated with continuing to expand the production gap in terms of stranded assets and equity in the transition.
Recent Oil Change International analysis shows that just five Global North countries – U.S., Canada, Australia, Norway, and the UK – will be responsible for over half (51%) of all planned oil and gas field developments from now to 2050.
These countries with high incomes, diversified economies, and outsized historical responsibility for causing the climate crisis, claim to be climate leaders while planning new oil and gas extraction incompatible with a livable future. This new report confirms that such countries should phase out oil and gas production fast and provide finance in countries with less capacities.
At the UN climate talks in Dubai later this month, fossil fuel phase out is for the first time at the top of the agenda, as well as an agreement to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency. It will be key to ensure poorly defined “abatement” technologies, promoted by the fossil fuel industry and government enablers, meant to distract from the need for a full and fair phase out of all fossil fuels will not be included in any final COP28 agreements.
Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Manager at Oil Change International, said:
“The report confirms that the failure by oil and gas producing countries to rein in their production is making climate and economic catastrophe more likely everyday. It is a stark reminder that we need an immediate halt to all new oil and gas projects, and for governments around the world to agree to a rapid and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels at this year’s UN climate talks in Dubai. Governments’ planned fossil fuel production would take us far beyond the brink of the 1.5°C limit, risking a future incompatible with survival. Just five rich global north countries will be responsible for the majority of planned new oil and gas extraction to 2050. It is these countries that have the moral and historical responsibility to move first and fastest to phase out fossil fuel production, and provide the financial and capacity support to global south countries in a just energy transition to renewables.
“The report makes it clear that continued investments in fossil fuel infrastructure are threatening the transition to renewable energy and that governments will need to aggressively tackle fossil fuel production and use as well as deploy renewable energy at scale if they want to meet their own goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. The alternative is climate failure and a chaotic, expensive transition with lots of stranded assets.
“At COP28, countries must come to an agreement on immediately ending fossil fuel expansion and building a just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels, enabled by providing the necessary funding to triple renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency. We urge governments to arrive at COP28 ready to take action commensurate with what the science is telling us, for a fast, fair, full, and funded phase out of fossil fuels.”