The world is ‘doubling down’ on fossil fuels despite climate crisis – UN report

Production must fall by 6% a year to avoid ‘severe climate disruption’ but Covid-19 funding is supporting increases

The world’s governments are “doubling down” on fossil fuels despite the urgent need for cuts in carbon emissions to tackle the climate crisis, a report by the UN and partners has found.

The researchers say production of coal, oil and gas must fall by 6% a year until 2030 to keep global heating under the 1.5C target agreed in the Paris accord and avoid “severe climate disruption”. But nations are planning production increases of 2% a year and G20 countries are giving 50% more coronavirus recovery funding to fossil fuels than to clean energy.

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to cut production in 2020 by 7%, the report says, but this barely changes the total production expected by 2030. Countries are on track to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels consistent with a 1.5C limit by that date.

The challenge of deliberately cutting fossil fuel production every year by similar amounts to that forced by a global pandemic lockdown is large. But a managed wind-down can help repair the global economic damage by creating many new clean energy jobs, the researchers say.

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