New Study Says Rich Countries Must Stop Producing Oil & Gas by 2034

New Study Says Rich Countries Must Stop Producing Oil & Gas by 2034

A new study from Manchester University finds that rich countries will have to completely phase out oil and gas production by 2034 if there’s any chance to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The world’s poorest countries would have until 2050, Mexico and China fall somewhere between the date range.

Analysis of wealth by nation and its economic dependency on fossil fuels led to findings that poorer countries will be crippled both economically and politically by phase-outs. In comparison, wealthier countries would remain relatively prosperous. The study also called for a rapid global end to coal, with rich countries halting use by 2030 and the rest of the world by 2040.

Commenting on the report, Saber Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Parliament and Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union stated, "The science is conclusive -- fossil fuels need to be phased out now and a fossil fuel-free future world realized soon. Wealthy nations have the means to transition fastest and have a moral duty to do this.”

IEA: A 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use, March 18, 2022.

GMIS: The IEA's Roadmap to Net-Zero by 2050, July 25, 2021.

Why This Matters

To reach the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree limit, an immediate end to fossil fuel dependency is necessary. Still, the move to green energy remains slow, and greenhouse gas emissions remain high, especially in wealthy countries. Oil and gas are the most consumed energy sources in the US. Without significant policy changes, the International Energy Agency predicts the US will continue producing record amounts of oil and gas.

In 2021, carbon emissions hit their highest levels in the last 4.5 million years. In February, the IEA released a report finding methane emissions to be regularly under-estimated and under-tracked with a discrepancy of 70% between the IEA’s estimates and official numbers.

Ranking Charts: Top 10 Polluting Countries by CO2 Emissions (1840-2021), December 26, 2021.

Reuters: 2021 saw jump in greenhouse-gas emissions, says report, January 10, 2022.

Corporate Emissions

Cutting GHG emissions is necessary at a national and global level and in the private sector. A recent study found that companies aren’t acting on their climate pledges, citing that "the overwhelming majority" don't have ambitious enough pledges and aren't taking steps to reduce their emissions to hit net-zero targets. The study ranked companies based on: emissions disclosures, emissions reduction targets, and actual reductions. Only three companies (Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Ecolab) received an A grade.

NBC: Are Major Companies Living Up To Their Net-Zero Pledges To Combat Climate Change?, February 10, 2022.

Our Eden: Your Bank is Funding Climate Change, November 13, 2021.

COP26 Talks: WWF's Carter Roberts x Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta, November 3, 2001.

Sky News: What you need to know about coal, November 4, 2021.