It’s no secret that the world is trying to rid itself of fossil fuels, but the process isn’t easy or quick. Yet despite this, the latest UNEP Gap Report has found that fossil fuel usage will be far beyond what is necessary to stay within the world climate goals.
This report compares what is necessary for the world to stay within its goal of limiting global warming to a 2C or 1.5C temperature increase, and what the actual plans countries have submitted up to 2030.
For all three major sources of fossil fuel, coal, oil, and gas, not a single one is inline, or even close to what is necessary. In fact, many countries will have twice as much fossil fuel production as recommended.
While the transition period is tough, climate change is not going to wait. Action must be taken.
More Money Is Going Towards Fossil Fuel Than Clean Energy
If you’ve been following the renewable energy sector, you should have noticed that it is booming. It’s growing at an unprecedented rate and investments have never been higher. And many countries have tried to tie their recovery efforts with renewable energy.
Sounds pretty good right?
What if I told you that the G20 nations, the 20 largest economies in the world, have invested more money into new fossil fuels than renewable energy? The truth is that while investments into cleaner energy are growing, so are fossil fuels.
And that is completely undermining all of the progress made towards climate change.
For the current climate goals to be achievable, fossil fuels must decrease. Yet, they are not.
Coal Is the Biggest Offender
One of the more surprising parts of the report was coal. It is a huge problem because as most of the world is retiring coal plants, its production isn’t diminishing.
To put it bluntly, the current projections and plans submitted by nations from around the world do see a decrease in production, but barely. While it is a downward slope, it will result in approximately three times as much coal production as recommended.
Without a doubt, the biggest contributors to this are China and India. In fact, just this week, China told coal miners to produce as much coal as possible to meet its energy demand. It’s even building three times as many coal plants as the rest of the world combined.
And these plants will be around for years to come. Thus, coal production is not going to drop anytime soon. Oil and gas are not in a better position.
Nations Need to Curb Fossil Fuel Production Before Its Too Late
The current outlook on the world achieving its ambitious climate goals is not great, to say the least. One report even said it was impossible.
What this report highlights are a complete disregard for climate change. Nations are not doing what they said they would, and time is running out.
If the world is going to change, pledges must become enforceable, otherwise, they will remain as empty promises.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.