If it were to limit global warming to below 1.5 °C or 2 °C according to the Paris Agreement, then by law, the world would have to stop its fossil fuel production. But what is happening is that governments are planning to produce coal, oil and gas far above acceptable levels instead of meeting the Paris Agreement temperature limits.
This is revealed by the annual production gap report of the United Nations. The annual Production Gap Report-2021, released by the United Nations Environment Program and leading research institutions, shows an assessment of current fossil fuel production plans by governments.
The 2021 Production Gap Report shows that despite increased climate ambitions and net-zero commitments, all countries have more than twice the acceptable amount of fossil fuels, in line with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C by 2030. intended to produce fuel. Not only this, governments are planning to produce 45% more fossil fuels if production is seen to limit warming to 2 °C.
Responding to this latest report, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said, “The devastating effects of climate change are there for all to see. Still limiting long-term warming to 1.5°C.” It is time to do things, but this window of opportunity is rapidly closing. At COP26 and onwards, the world’s governments must take swift and immediate steps to bridge the fossil fuel production gap and ensure a just and equitable transition. Climate This is what ambition looks like.”
On its current trajectory, the world is moving towards producing 110% more fossil fuels than it is to sustain 1.5°C warming, and 45% more fossil fuels than 2°C. The report has remained largely unchanged since its launch two years ago. This suggests that despite a growing number of net zero and emissions reduction pledges, governments are not shifting their fossil fuel production plans fast enough.
The report also includes country-specific data on India. Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the government seeks to “unleash the power of coal” and become self-reliant by 2023-24, and makes a commitment to “increase production through government companies”. The government expressed this as “a paradigm shift in the approach from being oriented towards maximum revenue from coal to providing maximum coal in the market at the earliest”.
In 2020, several ministries jointly formulated a vision and action plan for developing India’s resources. The plan outlines measures to increase coal production by about 60% (730 to 1,149 tonnes) from 2019 to 2024, including by removing barriers to manufacturing capacity for land acquisition and exploration. India also aims to increase total oil and gas production by over 40% over the same period through measures such as accelerated exploration licensing, faster monetization of discoveries and gas marketing reforms.
Gas production major concern The global picture shows that global gas production is one of the major concerns, as it will be responsible for the largest increase between 2020 and 2040. In 2030, there will be 70% more gas than is needed to stay at 1.5°C. Additionally, the report shows that governments have missed an opportunity to direct the Covid Recovery Fund to clean energy: in the analysis, US$300 billion of coal, oil and gas funding has been spent in 15 countries since the start of the pandemic. Has gone.
Ploy Achakulvisut, a lead author and SEI scientist on the report: “The research is clear: global coal, oil and gas production must begin to decline immediately and drastically in order to be consistent with limiting long-term warming to 1.5 °C. But “Governments continue to plan for and support fossil fuel production levels that are much higher than what we can safely burn.”
Key Findings – The main findings of the report include:
World governments are planning to produce fossil fuels by 2030 by limiting warming to approximately 1.5 °C, 110% more, and 45% more than the 2 °C analog. The output gap has remained largely unchanged as compared to earlier estimates.
Consistent with governments’ production plans and projections to limit global warming to 1.5°C in 2030, there will be about 240% more coal, 57% more oil and 71% more gas production.
Global gas production is projected to grow the most between 2020 and 2040, based on governments’ plans. This continued, long-term global expansion in gas production is inconsistent with the temperature limits of the Paris Agreement.
Countries have directed more than US$300 billion in new funds for fossil fuel activities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – rather than a comparison to clean energy.
In contrast, international public finance for fossil fuel production from G20 countries and major multilateral development banks (MDBs) has declined significantly in recent years; A third of MDBs and G20 development finance institutions (DFIs) based on asset size have adopted policies that exclude fossil fuel production activities from future finance.
Further, Lucille Dufour, senior policy advisor at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), says, “Early efforts by development finance institutions to cut international support for fossil fuel production are encouraging, but after these changes, global warming has been To limit that to 1.5°C, concrete and ambitious fossil fuel exclusion policies are needed.”
Mans Nilsson, SEI Executive Director: “Fossil-fuel-producing countries must recognize their role and responsibility in closing the production gap and moving us toward a safer climate future. As countries reach net-zero by mid-century are becoming increasingly committed to emissions, they also need to recognize the need to rapidly decline fossil fuel production needed for their climate goals.
The report, which was first launched in 2019, measures the gap between the government’s planned production levels of coal, oil and gas and global production levels in line with meeting the temperature limits of the Paris Agreement. Two years later, the 2021 report finds the production gap largely unchanged.
Over the next two decades, governments are collectively projecting an increase in global oil and gas production, and only a marginal decrease in coal production. Together, their plans and projections see global, total fossil fuel production increasing until at least 2040, with the production gap widening steadily.