Paris climate goals require immediate oil demand downturn: Study

(Eco Business, 14 Sep 2023) Even keeping global warming to 2˚C, not the safer 1.5˚C, will need emissions and oil use to peak by 2024 – much earlier than expected based on existing policies.

Both carbon emissions and the demand for oil globally must fall from this year onwards for global temperatures to be limited to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels, long-term scenarios modelled by consultancy Wood Mackenzie suggests.

There is only leeway for greenhouse gases and oil use to climb for one more year to keep global warming under 2˚C, as countries worldwide vowed in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

The analysis released on Thursday comes amid steadily rising fossil fuel demand after the Covid-19 economic downturn, and an exploration drive for oil and gas amid trade fractures caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

It represents a much steeper decarbonisation pathway than most expect – the head of the International Energy Agency said earlier this week that fossil fuel demand will bend the curve only by 2030. Woodmac said energy security fears have increased and the financial landscape is less favourable for a green transition compared to last year.

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Eco Business, 14 Sep 2023: Paris climate goals require immediate oil demand downturn: Study