LONDON - The world plans to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas in 2030 than would be consistent with curbing global warming, the United Nations and research groups said on Wednesday in the latest warning over climate change. Some of the largest fossil fuel producers in the world, including Australia, China, Canada and the United States, are among those pursuing major expansions in fossil fuel supply. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations have committed to a long-term goal of limiting average temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it even further to 1.5C. The 1.5C target requires fossil fuel production to decrease by around 6% per year between 2020 and 2030. Instead, countries are planning an average annual increase of 2%, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5C limit, the report said. Between 2020 and 2030, global coal, oil, and gas production would have to fall annually by 11%, 4%, and 3% respectively to be consistent with a 1.5C pathway. But government plans indicate an average 2% annual increase for each fuel. "This gap is large, with countries aiming to produce 120% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5C," the report said. The report was produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as experts from the Stockholm Environment Institute, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Overseas Development Institute, thinktank E3G and universities. TOUGHER TARGETS Carbon-generating forms of energy face increasing regulation which can make them less attractive to corporations and their investors. "Listed companies have started to acknowledge the risk of sanctioning stranded assets; the risks for governments are similar, but with outcomes that will impact hundreds of millions of people," said Mike Coffin, analyst at thinktank Carbon Tracker. "Whether or not individual petrostates care about the physical effects of climate change, they must recognise the impact falling fossil fuel income will have on their economies and take action to diversify," he added. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures to halt its spread have led to short-term drops in coal, oil, and gas production, but pre-COVID-19 plans and stimulus measures point to a continuation of growing global fossil fuel production, the UNEP report said. G20 governments have committed $233 billion in COVID-19 measures so far to sectors responsible for fossil fuel production and consumption, far more than to clean energy ($146 billion). U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has promised to end U.S. fossil fuel subsidies worth billions of dollars a year but is likely to meet resistance from lawmakers in a narrowly divided Congress, including from within his own party. "Governments must work on diversifying their economies and supporting workers, including through COVID-19 recovery plans that do not lock in unsustainable fossil fuel pathways but instead share the benefits of green and sustainable recoveries," said U.N. Secretary-General Ant,
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