Burning coal, oil and gas drives global warming. Nevertheless, more is being funded than ever before – and the trend continues to rise.
The planned global production volumes of coal, oil and gas continue to significantly exceed the level permitted to contain climate change.
The production planned by countries for 2030 is more than twice (110 percent more) what would be compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and leading research institutes. More and more coal will be produced worldwide until 2030. Oil and gas production volumes are expected to continue to increase until at least 2050. The UN World Climate Conference begins in Dubai on November 30th.
Criticism of the UNEP director
“Governments’ plans to expand fossil fuel production undermine the energy transition necessary to achieve net-zero emissions, create economic risks and call into question the future of humanity,” criticized UNEP Director Inger Andersen. A representative of the Climate Action Network, which brings together more than 1,900 climate protection organizations in around 130 countries, spoke in a reaction of “blatant hypocrisy” from states that presented themselves as climate pioneers but at the same time aggravated the crisis themselves.
In the 2015 Paris climate agreement, countries around the world committed to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, only a limited amount of climate-damaging greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) can end up in the earth’s atmosphere. Most of these are released when the fuels oil, natural gas and coal are burned.
Results of the report
The report shows that none of the 20 countries analyzed – including Germany – which overall produce and consume a large proportion of coal, oil and natural gas, have fully committed to limiting production quantities to the extent necessary for the 1.5 degree target have committed. Many countries are relying on gas as a bridging technology without having concrete plans for the exit. Technologies for storing or removing CO2 from the air are too uncertain to rely on.
Germany, which is reportedly the world’s second largest producer of lignite and the twelfth largest producer of coal overall, has not set any targets for reducing production when phasing out coal, it is said. However, it can be assumed that the phase-out of coal-fired power by 2038 at the latest and the government’s target of 80 percent renewable energy by 2030 will have a corresponding impact. The conclusion of gas supply contracts and the construction of LNG terminals, on the other hand, indirectly promote international gas production because they signal long-term demand.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.