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News > Latin America

Scientists Urge for Phasing Out of Hydrocarbons

  • Street flooded from Hurricane Ida, Bound Brook, New Jersey, U.S., Sept. 2, 2021,

    Street flooded from Hurricane Ida, Bound Brook, New Jersey, U.S., Sept. 2, 2021, | Photo: Twitter/ @pewtrusts

Published 22 March 2022

The transition to economies based on renewable energy is necessary to reduce the occurrence of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

All countries should embark on rapid phasing out of fossil fuels to limit carbon emissions and shield communities and ecosystems from the climate crisis, international scientists said in a report launched in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Tuesday.


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The report, titled "Phaseout Pathways for Fossil Fuel Production" compiled by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), says that a climate-resilient planet will be realized if rich nations halt oil and gas production by 2034.

"To comply with the carbon budget for a 50:50 chance of not exceeding 1.5 degrees centigrade of warming requires deep cuts in the production of all fossil fuels," the IISD says, adding that a just and equitable transition to cleaner fuels demanded wealthy, high-carbon emitting economies to reduce hydrocarbons' consumption by 74 percent by 2030.

The report also says that poorer nations that supply one-ninth of global demand for oil and gas should cut back their production by 14 percent before 2030 while providing them with affordable cleaner alternatives. A phase-out of fossil fuel production should be gradual and targeted mainly in poorer countries to avoid upsetting their economic and political stability.

Some of the least developed countries like South Sudan, the Republic of the Congo and Gabon, despite being small producers, generate the bulk of their revenue from oil and gas production and require a gradual shift to cleaner sources to avoid economic disruptions.

Nineteen major fossil fuel producing countries in the Gulf, Europe, and North America with high per capita income from other sources should lead in the transition to renewable energy sources. A gradual phasing out of coal production and use was imperative to halt further emission of planet-warming gases, protect communities from climatic shocks like wildfires, heatwaves and water stress.

Kevin Anderson, one of the report's authors, said that shifting away from fossil fuel economy was the only way to enhance response to climate emergencies that had taken a toll on livelihoods in the global south, adding that developing countries required financial and technical support to hasten their transition to cleaner energy sources.

Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said that science was clear that cutting down on fossil fuel use was the only pathway to a green and resilient future.

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