Despite all the international agreements and ambitions that should limit global warming, many countries are still planning to produce more than double the amount of fossil energy by 2030 than agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement. This is shown by a report by UN Environment Agency UNEP.
Gas and oil production is increasing worldwide over the next 20 years, and coal production is only slightly declining. This is at odds with global agreements to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Investments in clean energy such as solar and wind energy are lagging behind, writes UNEP, while governments pump billions of euros into oil and gas projects.
In order to turn the tide, fossil fuel production needs to be rapidly phased out and halved by 2030, writes UNEP. But instead, governments are stepping up production and global warming is threatening to rise above 2 degrees by 2040.
“There is still time to limit long-term warming to 1.5 degrees, but this opportunity is rapidly decreasing,” said Inger Andersen, director of UNEP. It calls on governments to show ambition at the UN climate summit taking place in Glasgow in November. “Governments need to stand up and take quick and immediate steps to close the fossil fuel production gap and ensure a fair transition.”
Since 2019, the agency has been putting government production plans in addition to the figures agreed in the 2015 Climate Agreement, concluding that the targets so far have not been met and that countries are structurally insufficient to promote climate warming, with all disastrous consequences of that, to stop.
The report endorses the findings of the UN International Climate Panel last July that drastic and large-scale measures are needed to limit Earths temperature rise. If the countries maintain their current plans, the average global temperature rose by about 2.7 degrees by the end of the century, the panel warned.
More ambitious plans
António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, particularly points to the rich countries their responsibility. “The G20 countries account for 80% of global emissions. Their leadership is needed more than ever. The decisions they make now determine whether or not the promise made in Paris is met.”
He therefore calls on those countries to come to the climate summit with further plans, for example in terms of making housing, industry and transport more sustainable.