Fossil Fuel Output Plans Exceed Climate 1.5 Degrees Celsius Target
As climate emergency requires urgent action, which countries are the ones causing irreparable damages to our only home amid pledges to comply with UN-mandated limits?
Despite many warnings, greed is at the helm of the ship the world is aboard, and it will crash it into the iceberg. However, the iceberg can only be metaphorical, for climate change is rapidly melting them.
The United Nations is attempting to avert the climate crisis, but the limits it has been imposing on fossil fuel production are yet to be respected and implemented by nations around the globe.
The world's nations are currently planning to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil, and gas required to curb climate change and limit global warming to 1.5°C, a United Nations report said Wednesday.
In a report issued ten days before the COP26 climate summit, which is seen as pivotal for the implementation of the Paris Agreement's temperature goals, the UN Environment Programme said government fossil fuel production plans this decade were "dangerously out of sync" with the emission cuts needed.
"Governments' planned coal production will vastly exceed global levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C — by 240% in 2030 and by 450% in 2040," said the report.
The United Nations says emissions must be halved by 2030 and to net-zero by mid-century to limit warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.
Development plans would produce 110% more fossil fuels this decade than the amount consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and 45% more than for a temperature increase of 2°C.
Currently, Earth is 1.1°C hotter than preindustrial levels, and that has caused drastic changes. Drought, floods, and storms amplified by rising sea levels have been ravaging our planet, rendering it nearly uninhabitable, and that is only the tip of the aforementioned melting iceberg, for it will only become worse.
The report included a detailed analysis of 15 major fossil fuel-producing nations, and it found that Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Brazil have the highest projected increase in national fuel production for 2030 (relative to 2019).
Saudi Arabia came in first with a 7.1 exajoule (EJ) increase in oil production and a 4.7 EJ increase in gas production. The United States came in second with a 5.2 EJ increase in oil production and a 3.8 EJ increase in gas production. Finally, Brazil came in third with a 5.3 EJ increase in oil production and a 1.3 EJ increase in gas production.
Leading in terms of coal production was India, with a projected increase of 6.1 EJ.
Meanwhile, China is projected to decrease its coal production by 9.2 EJ by 2030, topping the list of countries that are making efforts to decrease their carbon emissions fueled by coal production alongside the United States, Germany, and Canada.
The report also found that nations have allocated nearly $300 billion of new public finance to fossil fuel activities since the beginning of the pandemic - more than they have toward clean energy.
The use of coal had increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as confirmed by the International Energy Agency last week. The same agency had said in May that no new oil and gas production was compatible with 1.5°C.
In order to achieve carbon neutrality and avoid blowing past the 1.5°C goal, Michael Lazarus, a co-author of the United Nations report, said, "We don't need production in new fields at this point.
To limit the repercussions of climate change - and curb its effects on us - action must be taken; not at the individual level, but on a governmental level.
“Countries need to acknowledge the need for a just and equitable transition and report on how their production plans align with their climate plans," Lazarus asserted.