One of the most important documents for a long time, was released just before the current COP. I’ve only just seen it. It:

finds that governments plan to produce around  110% more fossil fuels in 2030  than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.

ibid.

This means that:

Taken together, government plans and projections would lead to an increase in global coal production until 2030, and in global oil and gas production until at least 2050.

Summary of Key Findings emphasis added

In other words despite 151 national governments pledging to achieve net-zero emissions, by 2050, governments and fossil fuel companies are working together to produce more fossil fuels, and hence more emissions. OR they are simply ignoring the emissions problem, and hoping it will go away.

As is well known the International Energy Agency has argued that if we wish to stay under 1.5°C all there can be no development of new oil and gas fields after 2021.

Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required. 

IEA Net Zero by 2050

It appears from the UN report that not one country has committed to cutting coal, oil or gas production to be consistent with a 1.5C target, and with this level of production, we are locked into a more than 2°C temperature rise.

This is despite the latest forecasts that coal, oil, and gas demand will peak this decade.

Indeed this action can be seen as an attempt to undermine the prediction and keep countries addicted to using fossil fuels and increasing fossil fuel company profits.

Whatever anyone says, Carbon Capture and Storage cannot deal with this excess of emissions. It cannot deal with even a small fraction of what we already produce. So the chance of it succesfully dealing with this excess is microscopic.

Again, if we needed to know, this shows the dominant power in the world, and that it does not care what happens to people, as long as it makes its profits.

Even the excuse that coal is being phased out faster than oil and gas is useless, because:

“We find that many governments are promoting fossil gas as an essential ‘transition’ fuel but with no apparent plans to transition away from it later”

 Ploy Achakulwisut quoted in Governments plan to produce double the fossil fuels in 2030 than the 1.5°C warming limit allows

UN Secretary-General António Guterres says:

Governments are literally doubling down on fossil fuel production; that spells double trouble for people and planet… We cannot address climate catastrophe without tackling its root cause: fossil fuel dependence. COP28 must send a clear signal that the fossil fuel age is out of gas — that its end is inevitable. We need credible commitments to ramp up renewables, phase out fossil fuels, and boost energy efficiency, while ensuring a just, equitable transition

Governments plan to produce double the fossil fuels in 2030 than the 1.5°C warming limit allows

However, if Governments have previously promised to cut emissions but are really supporting fossil fuel companies in increasing emissions, why would anyone trust them to really change, as opposed to saying they will change, at the COP?

These are graphs of the problem, showing the differenc between planned production and needed reduction:

Just before the COP28 meeting in the UAE, it was revealed that Adnoc, the UAE’s state oil company was going to use the conference “to jointly evaluate international LNG [liquefied natural gas] opportunities” in Mozambique, Canada and Australia, and that it planned to discuss fossil fuel deals with 13 other nations including Columbia, Germany and Egypt. The documents suggest that Adnoc would argue that “there is no conflict between the sustainable development of any country’s natural resources and its commitment to climate change.”

The president of COP28, Dr Sultan al-Jaber, is the head of Adnoc. In 2022, under his leadership, Adnoc announced they would invest $US150 billion to “accelerate” the growth of oil and gas development. “Adnoc’s ‘overshoot’ of the IEA net zero scenario is…. 6.8 BBOE [billion barrels of oil equivalent], the third largest worldwide.” [The Link in the Guardian article to the accelerated growth announcement, no longer works, but see the ABC].

“The UAE team did not deny using COP28 meetings for business talks, and said ‘private meetings are private’.”

The UAE also prepared talking points on commercial opportunities for its state renewable energy company, Masdar, ahead of meetings with 20 countries, including the UK, United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kenya.

ibid

The UAE also failed to report its oil industry’s emissions of methane to the UN for almost a decade.

This can be seen as part of the fossil fuel company’s campaign to keep new fields opening and implies that it is rountine to put business before attempts to lower emissions.

While we are at it, the World Meterological Organisation released a preliminary finding that:

confirms that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record. Data until the end of October shows that the year was about 1.40 degrees Celsius (with a margin of uncertainty of ±0.12°C )above the pre-industrial 1850-1900 baseline….. The past nine years, 2015 to 2023, were the warmest on record…. Greenhouse gas levels are record high. Global temperatures are record high. Sea level rise is record high. Antarctic sea ice is record low. 

2023 shatters climate records, with major impacts

My guess after seeing this result, is that we are going to sail over 1.5 degrees in a very short time, which means that cut backs in fossil fuel production, use and emissions have to start immediately. If we want a safeish planet. There is no later.