Study: Fossil fuel plans would far overshoot climate goals

LONDON -- To prevent global warming reaching dangerous levels, the world must reduce its coal, oil, and gas production by more than half in the next decade, according to Wednesday's U.N.-backed report.

Study: Fossil fuel plans would far overshoot climate goals

LONDON -- To prevent global warming reaching dangerous levels, the world must reduce its coal, oil, and gas production by more than half in the next decade, according to Wednesday's U.N.-backed report.

The U.N. published the report. The U.N. Environment Program report found that although governments have made bold pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they still plan to extract twice as much fossil fuels by 2030 than would be compatible with the 2015 Paris climate agreement's goal to keep the global temperature rising below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit).

It said that even the more ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), by the end the century, would be too ambitious.

Climate experts believe the world must reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere by 2050. This can be achieved by drastically reducing fossil fuel burning as soon as possible.

The report was published days before the U.N. Climate Summit begins in Glasgow on Oct. 31. It found that most major oil and gas producers, and some major coal producers, plan to increase production until 2030 or beyond.

The study also found that 20 of the most industrialized and emerging countries have invested more in fossil fuel projects since 2020 than they have in clean energy.

According to the report, the gap between fossil fuel extraction plans and climate goals will increase until at least 2040.

UNEP stated that this would require more extreme and drastic measures to reach the Paris emission goal.

Inger Andersen, the agency's executive Director, stated that there is still time for long-term warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but this window is quickly closing. She also said that governments should pledge to close the gap at the Glasgow summit on climate change.

More than 40 researchers contributed to the report. It examined 15 countries that produce fossil fuels.

They found that the United States' government projections for oil and gas production would see it rise to 17% and 12% by 2030, respectively, compared to 2019. Many of these emissions would be exported. However, they would increase the global total.

The U.S. coal industry is expected to decrease by 30% in the next decade, compared to 2019.

Costa Rica's energy and environment minister stated that the report shows that fossil fuels must be stopped in order to achieve the Paris goals.

Andrea Meza stated, "We must use both our hands to address demand and supply simultaneously of fossil fuels."

Costa Rica and Denmark plan to create a new group, the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance at the Glasgow summit to support that effort.

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