Authors: Peter Newell and Andrew Simms | ‘ Le Monde diplomatique‘ | originally published 7 July 2020
“There is an obvious need for the vast majority of fossil fuels to remain in the ground and for countries to be supported in developing renewable alternatives.
[G]overnments are planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway and 120% more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.UN Production Gap Report 2019
This is underscored by the IPCC’s special report on the impacts of global heating of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and the UN Production Gap Report 2019 — an assessment of the gap between the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement and countries’ planned production of coal, oil and gas. The UN report found that ‘governments are planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway and 120% more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway’.
[I]t is increasingly hard to see how we can tackle climate change and achieve and exceed the aims of the Paris Agreement without an international legal agreement to leave fossil fuels in the ground, based on the same principles of fairness and equity as the original UN climate convention. Perhaps the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons shows us one way.”