UN: ‘Fossil fuel production will be more than double what is needed to stop global warming’

A new report from the UNEP claims that by 2030, governments will be producing 240% more coal than what is needed to keep warming at 1.5°C

Pathway to COP26 report

Countries’ plans to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the decade are far too slow to keep global temperatures at a safe level.

That’s according to the production gap report from the UNEP, revealing that global governments plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be required with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

This level of fossil fuel production would rise to 45% more than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 2°C for certain countries’ energy plans.

According to the UN study, coal production will decrease but gas is set to increase the most across the next two decades to levels that make the aims of the Paris Agreement impossible to attain.

By 2030, governments will be producing 240% more coal, 57% more oil and 71% more gas than what is necessary to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

The report also claims that G20 countries have put $300 billion (£217.6bn) towards fossil fuel activities since the start of the pandemic, which is more than has been directed to clean energy.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, released earlier this year, explained how humanity is running out of time to keep temperatures at a safe level and the UNEP stresses that if drastic changes are not made in countries’ policies towards fossil fuels, there will be no escaping the inevitable.

The report looks in detail at the energy plans of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the UAE, the UK and the US.

It states: “These countries have announced greenhouse gas emission reduction targets through their nationally determined contributions and in some cases, have set net zero goals.

“However, few have assessed, at least publicly, whether their projected fossil fuel production is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This focus on emissions alone ignores their roles and responsibilities in producing the predominant source of these emissions.”

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