Impact of fossil fuel extraction on global warming

What is the news? 

As per recent study, the global oil and gas production should decline by 3% per year until 2050 to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This target was set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.  

To achieve this target, global fossil fuel extraction needs to go down.  

What is the current progress on Paris Agreement? 

As of now, human activities have already caused global temperatures to rise by about 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels (1950-1900). Currently, countries’ emissions targets are not in line with limiting global warming to under 1.5 degrees. 

What are the findings of the study? 

Firstly, it says that both planned and operational fossil fuel extraction projects are not conducive to meeting the targets set out by the climate agreement signed in 2015. 

Secondly, number of regions in the world have already reached their peak fossil fuel production. To achieve the goal, any increase in fossil fuel production will have to be offset by a decline elsewhere. 

Thirdly, the required unextracted reserves need to be 58% for oil, 59% for fossil methane gas and 89% for coal by 2050. These percentages of fossil fuels need to remain unextractable if global warming targets are kept in mind. 

Source: This post is based on the article “What a new study says about fossil fuel extraction and global warming” published in the Indian Express on 10th September 2021.

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