“When you add up [predictions] for fossil fuel production, they are much higher than they would be if the world met its climate commitments, ”said Peter Erickson, co-author of the study produced by a coalition of groups including the International Institute of sustainable development and the United Nations. The report released on Wednesday sums up the government’s forecasts for oil, gas and coal production by 2030 and compares them to what fossil fuel production would be if the world abided by the Paris climate agreement.
He revealed that the 15 countries – including Canada – that produce three-quarters of these fuels expect to produce more than twice as much as they should if the world is to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees. Even if the target is set at two degrees, these production forecasts would exceed the mark of 45 percent.
Erickson said these predictions are unrealistic. Taken together, they exceed estimates of total fossil fuel demand by 2030.
“Every government wants to be the last to produce,” he said.
“Each country thinks it is the only one. But each country cannot be the only one. “
Organizations performed a similar analysis in 2019. Not much has changed since then, Erickson said.
But he praised Canada this year. It is one of the few countries to have downgraded its fossil fuel production forecast due to increasingly restrictive climate legislation and declining demand.
“Canada is on a better track in its analysis and planning. [It] can be a model for other countries. “
In 2020, Canada reduced its oil production forecast for 2040 by about one million barrels per day. At nearly six million barrels, that’s still a 20% increase from current levels.
Erickson said it was not necessarily true that production cuts in one country would simply be offset elsewhere.
“Someone else will produce some of this. But it is not one to one. Providing less lowers demand. “
The report comes as governments prepare to travel to Glasgow, Scotland, for a conference on the progress of the Paris Agreement. The so-called COP 26 meeting would be a good place to start, Erickson said.
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“Canada could go to the COP and say, ‘We’re going to start planning for a phase-out of oil and gas, just like we plan to reduce our emissions. “
Erickson said it was time for governments to face the need for lower production. The Net Zero Producers Forum – five countries, including Canada, which produce about 40 percent of the world’s oil and gas – would be a good place to start these discussions, he said.
“It’s not just about making production less dirty. It is also about producing less. “