The world’s nations are currently planning to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the UN said on October 20.
Ten days before a climate summit that is being billed as key to the viability of the Paris Agreement temperature goals, the UN’s Environment Programme said that government fossil fuel production plans this decade were “dangerously out of sync” with the emissions cuts needed.
The UN says emissions must go down nearly 50 per cent by 2030 and to net-zero by mid-century to limit warming to 1.5C above preindustrial levels.
But its Production Gap report found that total fossil fuel production would likely increase until at least 2040.
Development plans would produce 110 per cent more fossil fuels this decade than consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5C, and 45 per cent more than for a world where temperatures increase 2C.
“The research is clear: global coal, oil and gas production must start declining immediately and steeply,” said Ploy Achakulwisut, a lead report author from the Stockholm Environment Institute.
With 1.1C of warming so far, Earth is being pummelled by ever-more-frequent drought, floods and storms supercharged by rising sea levels.