The year 2023 will likely be the hottest year on record while fossil fuel consumption is at its highest. Under these conditions, what can we hope for to make COP28 a success?
The planned end of fossil fuels must be included in the final press release. In other words, it must be clearly indicated when the consumption of fossil fuels will be reduced permanently.
In the main scenario of the International Energy Agency, demand is at its maximum in 2030 BUT it does not reduce afterwards. This means that we would collectively be in favor of maintaining new investments and new explorations in these fossil fuels.
This IEA scenario would be compatible with a temperature which would be, at the end of the century, well beyond the revised target of 1.5°C of the Paris Agreement. In all scenarios, maintaining the current trend, including with government commitments, would result in a temperature between 2.5°C and 2.9°C above the pre-industrial average. It’s way too much.
In its report on energy prospects, the International Energy Agency warns us that oil consumption would be 102 million barrels/day in 2030, before declining to around 97 million in 2050 if nothing is clearly implemented a scenario seen as an extension of what we are currently experiencing. It is this scenario that leads to almost 3°C.
In the scenario which converges towards carbon neutrality, the one which would still allow us to live comfortably after 2050, we would have to reduce consumption to 24 million barrels/day in 2050. The revolution is here.
There can only be convergence towards carbon neutrality if there is a profound change in behavior. We cannot simply be in millimetric adjustment. This is why the carbon tax will not be sufficient because although it causes changes in behavior, it does not cause a profound change.
Not including in the final press release the elements of a convergence strategy towards carbon neutrality with indications on the rate of reduction in the use of fossil fuels would be a failure which would validate all research and exploration in oil and gas now and in the future.
A way to say goodbye to the Paris Agreement.