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Report: Countries plan to double fossil fuel production despite net-zero target

Report: Countries plan to double fossil fuel production despite net-zero target
November 09
12:28 2023

A new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says governments still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels by 2030.

The report said the production would exceed amounts needed to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius.

The report added that this would “put a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk”.

The 2023 Production Gap Report featured twenty major fossil-fuel-producing countries including Nigeria, Australia, China, Canada, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US, and the UK.


According to the report, government plans and projections would lead to an increase in global coal production until 2030, and global oil and gas production until at least 2050.

This, it said, conflicts with countries’ commitments under the Paris Agreement and “clashes with expectations that global demand for coal, oil, and gas will peak within this decade even without new policies”.

The report said that despite the pledge made by major producer countries of fossil fuels to achieve net-zero emissions, “none have committed to reduce coal, oil, and gas production in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C”.


It added that many countries are promoting gas as a “bridge” or “transition” fuel, but with “no apparent plans to transition away from it”.

The report called on governments to aim for a near total phase-out of coal production and use by 2040 and a combined reduction in oil and gas production and use by three-quarters by 2050 from 2020 levels. 

It also urged governments with greater transition capacity to aim for more ambitious reductions and help finance the transition processes in countries with limited capacities.



Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, says the production gap report is a “startling indictment of runaway climate carelessness”.

Guterres said governments are doubling down on fossil fuel production and that spells “double trouble for people and planet”.

The secretary general said climate catastrophe cannot be addressed without tackling its root cause – fossil fuel dependence.

He said fossil fuels are “sending essential climate goals up in smoke”, adding that it is “time for change”.


“It reveals that governments are on track to produce more than twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be needed to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said.

“Fossil fuel emissions are already causing climate chaos which is devastating lives and livelihoods, and we are on course for far worse.    


“Leaders must act now to save humanity from the worst impacts of climate chaos, and profit from the extraordinary benefits of renewable energy.

“That means ending our fossil fuel addiction by shrinking supply, driving down demand, and accelerating the renewables revolution, as part of a just transition.


“Countries must phase out coal — by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 elsewhere. And the G20 must take the lead in ending licensing and funding for new oil and gas.

“COP28 must send a clear signal that the fossil fuel age is out of gas — that its end is inevitable.


“We need credible commitments to ramp up renewables, phase out fossil fuels, and boost energy efficiency, while ensuring a just, equitable transition”.

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