Fossil Fuel Plans By Producing Nations Threatens 1.5C Limit: United Nations

‘Even the Paris Agreement does not explicitly talk about how to reach the targets it sets.’

Fossil Fuel Plans By Producing Nations Threatens 1.5C Limit: United Nations

The future of fossil fuels will be a significant flashpoint when world leaders convene later this month at the COP28 climate summit, entrusted with preserving the world's agreed-upon temperature targets.

Most of the world's leading fossil fuel producers have pledged to achieve "net-zero" emissions by mid-century. This goal should align with the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping global warming well below two degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since the pre-industrial era and preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

However, the annual United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Production Gap report reveals that the top 20 producing nations, including the United States, China, Russia, Australia, and COP28 host United Arab Emirates, have opposing production intentions.

Overall, it was discovered that countries' plans would generate 110 percent more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and 69 percent more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

"Government's plans to expand fossil fuel production are undermining the energy transition required to achieve net-zero emissions, casting doubt on humanity's future," said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

"Starting at COP28, nations must unite behind an equitable phase-out of coal, oil, and gas—to ease turbulence ahead and benefit every person on this planet."

By far the most significant contributor to climate change is the combustion of fossil fuels, which account for the majority of the planet-warming carbon pollution that is causing global warming and the accompanying onslaught of temperature records, terrible weather disasters, and sea level rise.

However, countries have been hesitant to admit this in global climate discussions publicly, and the Paris Agreement does not specifically address how to meet the objectives it establishes.

According to Ploy Achakulwisut, a primary author on the UNEP study and a Stockholm Environment Institute scientist, this has resulted in a "large discrepancy" between nations' production targets and the need to swiftly transition away from fossil fuels to satisfy global climate objectives.