Nearly two-thirds of the top fossil fuel producers in Australia and the world aren’t on track for 1.5℃ climate target

21 August 2023

Dr Saphira Rekker and Dr Belinda Wade write for The Conversation
 Follow Saphira on Twitter |  Follow Belinda on Twitter

Rapid reductions in fossil fuel production and use are essential to limit global warming to 1.5℃ compared to pre-industrial levels. Our new research shows most of the world’s major coal, oil and gas companies are yet to make meaningful reductions.

Some companies have been quick to announce net-zero targets or other claims of alignment with the Paris Agreement. But how do their actions compare to what must be done to achieve the agreed goal of keeping the temperature increase below 1.5℃?

Our research developed a method to track whether production by individual fossil fuel companies is aligned with putting the world on a 1.5℃ climate pathway. We use production budgets as these can be compared directly with fossil fuel demand scenarios and avoid the need for complex emissions calculations.

More than 60% of the top 142 oil, gas and coal companies – including three of the five Australian companies assessed – were not on track. Rio Tinto and BHP were the two Australian companies found to be on track. Between 2014 and 2020, the fossil fuel sectors exceeded overall production budgets by 64% (oil), 63% (gas) and 70% (coal).

These budgets are the levels of production needed to limit warming to 1.5℃ under the Paris Agreement “middle-of-the-road scenario” (where trends broadly follow their historical patterns).

We need freely available information to understand the impact companies are having on the climate and to hold them accountable. Our results are on the website Are you Paris compliant?.

Read the full article at The Conversation

Read More