The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) is calling for an urgent phasedown of both the demand for and supply of fossil fuels, according to their latest report.
The report stresses that the use of coal, oil, and gas must be significantly decreased by 2050 to align with the targets under the COP21 Paris Agreement.
Immediate action is imperative, as failure to achieve net-zero fossil fuel emissions by mid-century could jeopardize global climate goals, ETC said in an announcement Wednesday.
The report outlines a comprehensive approach, emphasizing the need to cut emissions resulting from the production, transport, and processing of fossil fuels by 55% for carbon dioxide (CO2) and 70% for methane by 2030.
However, the crux of the matter lies in addressing the over 80% of emissions arising from the combustion of fossil fuels.
The ETC advocates an 80-85% reduction in coal use, 55-70% in gas, and 75-95% in oil by 2050, with interim reductions by 2030.
These measures are considered technically and economically feasible, thanks to the rapid progress of key technologies such as renewables, batteries, and electric vehicles.
While the report acknowledges the importance of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and CO2 removals, it cautions against using them to justify business as usual for fossil fuel production.
The ETC asserts that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires leaving 65% of oil and gas reserves and 90% of coal reserves untapped.
Consequently, the report calls for a substantial decrease in investment in fossil fuel supply, urging a reduction of 30-35% by 2030 and 45-65% by 2040.
ETC’s key recommendations include securing global commitment to a rapid phasedown of fossil fuels at the upcoming United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, rejecting the idea that all national fossil fuel reserves should be exploited, and ceasing financing for new coal developments, among others.
Additionally, fossil fuel companies are urged to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, and financial institutions are called upon to restrict financing for short-term oil and gas development.
The report concludes by urging governments, fossil fuel companies, and financial institutions to align their policies and actions with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, emphasizing the need for bold leadership in transitioning to a clean energy system.
London-based ETC is an international think tank, focusing on economic growth and climate change mitigation, which was created in September 2015 and is run by commissioners representing governments, businesses and individuals who are considered leaders in the energy sector.
The full report Fossil Fuels in Transition: Committing to the phase-down of all fossil fuels is available here.