Shell, BP, Equinox: Fossil fuel companies’ energy use projections could be ‘catastrophic’

Fossil fuel companies’ net zero plans won’t meet vital Paris Agreement climate goals, according to a damning new study.

The world will warm “significantly” more than 1.5°C unless oil polluters radically overhaul their emissions reduction goals.

Researchers from Climate Analytics Germany analysed the ‘decarbonisation’ pathways of energy giants BP, Shell and Equinor.

All of the pathways showed “delayed reductions in fossil fuel consumption,” the researchers wrote – making them “incompatible” with the global plan to keep emissions below 1.5°C.

Fossil fuel companies claim that we can continue to burn oil and gas while keeping to the 1.5°C warming limit, and they cite their own scenarios as justification,” says Bill Hare, CEO and Senior Scientist at Climate Analytics.

“But our research shows that their pathways would bust the Paris Agreement. Even temporarily exceeding the 1.5°C warming would lead to catastrophic impacts and severely weaken our ability to adapt to climate change.”

What is the Paris climate agreement and why is it important?

Under the 2016 Paris Agreement, countries pledged to keep the global temperature “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels – and as close to 1.5°C as possible.

The stakes of meeting these targets are high.

The planet is already 1.1°C warmer than it was 150 years ago – and extreme weather events are growing more common every year.

Last month was the third warmest July on record, with many countries suffering from wildfires and drought.

As Europe and the UK sweltered under record-breaking temperatures last month, WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas described the heatwave as the “new normal.”

If we fail to prevent temperature rises, swathes of the world will become borderline uninhabitable.

At 1.5°C warming, about 14 per cent of Earth’s population will be exposed to severe heatwaves at least once every five years, while at 2°C warming that number jumps to 37 per cent.

At present we are on a pathway to exceed 3°C of global warming by 2030.

(Source: Euronews, August 18-2022)

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