"Ditching fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy in order to keep warming
below the 1.5ºC threshold is both "necessary and technically feasible."
That's the conclusion of an analysis released Thursday entitled Fossil Fuel
. Produced by the University of Technology Sydney's Institute for
Sustainable Futures in cooperation with the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation
Treaty Initiative, the report states clearly that "there is no need for more
fossil fuels" because the world is overflowing with renewable energy capacity.
"The world has more than enough renewable energy resources that can be scaled
up rapidly enough to meet the energy demands of every person in the world
without any shortfall in global energy generation."
—Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy
Such a pathway, said Sanjay Vashist, director of Climate Action Network South
Asia, would avert a "criminal waste of money" that would "have devastating
climate and humanitarian consequences."
A key point in the analysis is that simply stopping the industry's planned
expansion of fossil fuel projects is insufficient to meet the Paris climate
agreement's temperature goal and would actually "push warming well above
With this angle, the new analysis goes beyond the International Energy Agency's
report last month calling for no oil and gas expansion in order to meet a goal
of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. That's because even if there were no
expansion, the report's projections show, the world would produce 35% more oil
and 69% more coal than is consistent with meeting the 1.5°C target.
As such, Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy lays out a dirty energy phaseout with an
annual decline of 9.5% for coal, 8.5% for oil, 3.5% for gas from 2021-2030.
A further difference between the new report's 1.5ºC scenario and the IEA report
is its rejection of carbon capture technology and bioenergy as well as nuclear
energy going forward.
Leaving those sources aside is no problem because expanding efficiency measures
will lower overall energy demands, even amid increased electrification. That's
because wind and solar power—sectors that are accelerating—are in a position to
take over for fossil fuels."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics