A University of Manchester study into how soon we must phase out all fossil fuels if we’re to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement has found all nations must ‘begin a rapid and just phaseout of fossil fuel production’ immediately.
Based on the IPCC”s budget for a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, the Phaseout Pathways for Fossil Fuel Production Within Paris-compliant Carbon Budgets report has found that:
- Nations must make immediate and deep cuts in the production of all fossil fuels, including a rapid and just phaseout of existing production.
- Coal production in developed nations (like Australia) needs to fall by 50% within five years and be effectively eliminated by 2030.
- Output of oil and gas in developed nations needs to be cut by 74% by 2030, with a complete phase-out by 2034.
- Phasing out fossil fuels is the only option. The remaining IPCC carbon budget for 1.5°C is too small to allow time for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to make an impact on fossil fuel emissions.
Quotes attributable to Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie:
“This study comes off the back of embarrassing international criticism of Australia’s lack of action on climate change. Earlier this week, the UN Secretary-General took the extraordinary move of singling out Australia as one of “a handful of holdouts”, for refusing to set a meaningful 2030 emission reduction target.
“The very next day Australia’s Emissions Reduction Minister announced a further $50 million to expand Australia’s gas production. More gas equals more emissions and worsening climate change. Unfortunately this is a pattern from the Morrison Government: talking up its green credentials, but doing the exact opposite.
“So many Australians are living through our nation’s worst floods, and the Great Barrier Reef is again experiencing widespread bleaching. If we are to protect ourselves and to give our beloved Reef a fighting chance – we must completely phase-out fossil fuel production by the mid 2030s.
“Last year, the Morrison Government announced a net zero by 2050 target but this isn’t backed up by a credible plan of action.
“Net zero by 2050 is meaningless without strong and urgent emission cuts this decade. Without effective global action now, including here in Australia, we will experience far more dangerous marine heatwaves, fire weather, extreme rainfall and other devastating impacts.
“Australians are paying a personal price for the Morrison government shirking responsibility on climate change. We need to turbocharge our action on climate and sadly, we are far from it right now.”
For interviews please contact Hannah Izzard 0475 247 754
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au
Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil