The primary cause of our climate system spiralling out of control is fossil fuels, which release significant quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) throughout their lifecycles, from extraction at coal mines and oil and gas wells through to combustion in our homes, industries and vehicles.
Today, fossil fuels supply about 80 per cent of the world’s energy and rapid reductions are required to keep global heating within safe limits.[i] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that “the level of greenhouse gas emission reductions this decade largely determine whether warming can be limited to 1.5°C or 2°C”, further noting that “CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel infrastructure without additional abatement would exceed the remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C.”[ii] UN Environment found that “the world’s governments plan to produce more than twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C” – and almost three times in 2040.[iii]
To safeguard our climate system, the countries of the world must come together to end the expansion of new fossil fuel production and to phase out existing fossil fuel production, coupled with a rapid rollout of renewable energy.
We need a global Fossil Fuel Treaty.