Despite the pandemic, 2020 was the joint warmest year on record. Meanwhile the last decade 2011-2020 was the warmest decade ever recorded.
Welcome to 2021, which we hope will be a year of transformative change and unstoppable momentum on climate change, culminating in COP26, the crucial climate conference in Scotland at the end of the year.
“Of course, when the clock strikes midnight to turn to January 1, 2021, the world won’t instantly be cured of either COVID or our fossil fuel addiction. But, nevertheless, as we look towards 2021, there is hope on the horizon.”
Before Saturday, it is simple. Boris should be brave. He should cancel overseas fossil fuel finance. But he should do more. To encourage others to do the above, he should also follow Denmark’s lead and cancel the next round of oil and gas licensing, and end all future exploration in the UK North Sea.
A new report, published today by UNEP and other environmental groups, outlines the “Production Gap”, the discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.
In the coming days, weeks, and months Oil Change will work to build on our wins and hold the Biden Administration to account, just like we did with Trump and Obama before. We will be pushing for a radical just transition away from fossil fuels.
Yesterday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned that the “industrial slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not curbed record levels of greenhouse gases which are trapping heat in the atmosphere, increasing temperatures and driving more extreme weather, ice melt, sea-level rise and ocean acidification.”
Despite the warnings for years that we cannot burn new reserves of oil if we want a liveable climate, the West’s top nine oil majors alone are sitting on more than 28 billion barrels of oil equivalent of undeveloped resources. Much of this could end up going from being an asset to a liability, just as many predicted.
Trump seems determined to try and push his rabid fossil fuel agenda through to his last day in office. Until the dying breath of his Presidency, he will do the bidding of Big Oil.
Tomorrow evening, our colleagues at PlatformLondon will be hosting an online global arts event in collaboration with MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People), Shake! And Virtual Migrants, to not only celebrate the Ogoni 9, but also for people to hear from other frontline environmental defenders from key battles against the oil industry. It promises to be an inspirational evening.