World’s major oil producers spurn fossil fuel phase-out in net zero push – research

A general view of the Centenario deepwater oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Veracruz, Mexico, January 17, 2014. Picture taken January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo Acquire license rights

DUBAI, Dec 5 (Reuters) - None of the world's major oil and gas-producing countries have plans to stop drilling for those fuels, even though many have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions, according to data shared with Reuters on Tuesday.

The Net Zero Tracker, an independent data consortium that includes the University of Oxford, said its findings exposed the gap between the goals countries have set to avoid disastrous levels of climate change and their real-world plans. to continue producing energy that emits CO2.

"This proliferation of 'net zero' ambitions without a commitment to phasing out fossil fuels highlights the need for entities to determine how these goals will be achieved," said research co-author Natasha Lutz of the University of Oxford.

Governments at the UN COP28 climate summit in Dubai are debating whether to agree for the first time to phase out fossil fuels that emit CO2, the main cause of climate change.

Data shared with Reuters showed that 69 of the world's oil-producing countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, hosts of COP28, have committed to achieving net-zero emissions.

But only three minor producers - Denmark, Spain and France - have established plans to eventually stop drilling, researchers said. Denmark and Spain are also alone among gas producers planning a phase-out of production.

Countries with net zero emissions The target, but there are no plans to curb production, includes the United Arab Emirates, which has faced strong criticism of climate activists and some European and American legislators over the appointment of the CEO of the state oil company ADNOC, Sultan al-Jaber, as president of the COP28 talks.

ADNOC plans to expand oil production capacity and increase its gas production.

Jim Skea, chair of the U.N. climate science panel, said Monday that by 2050, global oil use must fall by 60% and gas use by 45% if the world is to prevent global warming. rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius, the threshold beyond which climate change would trigger more disastrous and irreversible impacts.

In this scenario, by 2050, Skea said at the COP28 summit, "the use of fossil fuels will be significantly reduced," adding that the use of coal, which emits CO2, will be completely eliminated.

Reporting by Kate Abnett; additional reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Sonali Paul

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Kate Abnett covers EU climate and energy policy in Brussels, reporting on Europe's green transition and how climate change is affecting people and ecosystems across the EU. Other areas of coverage include international climate diplomacy. Before joining Reuters, Kate covered energy and emissions markets for Argus Media in London. She is one of the teams whose reporting on Europe's energy crisis won two Reuters Journalist of the Year awards in 2022.

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