Contributed by Robert Lyman © 2023. Robert Lyman’s bio can be read here.
COP28, the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), will be held from November 30 to December 12, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The European Union is leading efforts to have the conference agree to “phase out” the unabated production of fossil fuels. A group of organizations led by the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Canada-based International Institute for Sustainable Development recently published a report in which they examined the “production gap”, which they defined as the difference between “governments’ plans and projections” for production of coal, oil and natural gas and the levels of production that would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5 degree C. and 2 Degrees C.
The report found that the “planned or projected” fossil fuel production will be more than double the amount in 2030 that would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C.
It concluded that countries should aim for a near total phase-out of coal production and use by 2040 and a combined reduction in oil and gas use by three-quarters by 2050 from 2020 levels.
The report finds, further, that current efforts are “deeply insufficient” and that continued production and use of coal, oil and natural gas are not compatible with “a safe and livable future”.
The major country producers of coal, oil and natural gas have all strongly resisted any commitments to reduce production. Countries like China, India, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq all see fossil fuel production as central to their economic development and energy security. They are extremely unlikely to commit to production declines. The developing countries that are not major fossil fuel producers will also see efforts to reduce fossil fuel supply for what they are – an indirect way to increase the price of coal, oil and natural gas, and thereby to leave them and their economic development prospects hostage to an international coalition of globalists, rent seekers and radical environmentalists. They too will not support measures that harm their interests.
Even when COP28 fails, as all its predecessors have, its potential for influencing domestic Canadian climate policies should not be under-estimated.