Oil and gas majors must cut production by a third to meet climate targets: report

(EurActiv, 4 Nov 2019) The world’s largest oil and gas companies must cut combined production by 35% by 2040 if nations are the meet the collective ambitions of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to below 2C, a new report from Carbon Tracker has found. EURACTIV’s media partner edie.net reports.

According to the report, the world’s carbon budget to limit temperature rise to 1.5C and 1.75C will be exceeded in 13 years and 24 years respectively.

However, approved oil and gas projects yet to be built are already sufficient to meet energy demand and carbon budgets in a world where temperature rise is limited to 1.6C above pre-industrial levels. The report warned that there is little to no room for future fossil fuel projects.

Carbon Tracker’s oil and gas analyst and report author Mike Coffin said: “If companies and governments attempt to develop all their oil and gas reserves, either the world will miss its climate targets or assets will become “stranded” in the energy transition, or both.

“The industry is trying to have its cake and eat it – reassuring shareholders and appearing supportive of Paris, while still producing more fossil fuels. This analysis shows that if companies really want to both mitigate financial risk and be part of the climate solution, they must shrink production.”

The report identified which oil and gas businesses could still be economic in a 1.6˚C world using the International Energy Agency’s Beyond 2 Degrees (B2DS) scenario – which explores decarbonisation pathways based on readily available technologies.

Since 2011, the global proved reserves of oil and gas have increased, and fossil fuel giants such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Total are faced with huge production cuts in order to be viable in a low-carbon future.

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EurActiv, 4 Nov 2019: Oil and gas majors must cut production by a third to meet climate targets: report