Press release

New report: Oil and gas phase-out primer

IISD experts set out what it will take to put a transition away from fossil fuels into practice

May 15, 2024

At the COP 28 climate summit in Dubai, 198 governments agreed to transition away from fossil fuels. That means phasing out oil and gas, as well as coal. Yet, most oil and gas producers plan to drill more, not less. Some countries are dependent on revenues from oil and gas, or politically entangled with the industry. An unmanaged transition could get ugly. What will it take to deliver a fast, fair, and orderly phase-out?

In Transitioning Away From Oil and Gas: A Production Phase-out Primer, published today, experts at the International Institute for Sustainable Development outline the state of play and recommend next steps for governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders

Here are the main asks:

  1. Stop issuing oil and gas licences. There is no room for new oil and gas fields under a 1.5°C warming limit. New production will either drive dangerous levels of warming or crash in value when climate action destroys demand.
  2. End public finance and subsidies to oil and gas production. Use valuable public resources to scale up clean energy and support people, not fossil fuels. Transform national oil companies’ business models from barrels to electrons.
  3. Make national phase-out plans as part of the next round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement due in 2025. Global oil and gas production falls at least 65% from 2020 to 2050 in credible 1.5°C-aligned pathways. An equitable distribution of effort takes into account human rights, historic responsibility, and social and economic capacity.
  4. Remove legal barriers to phase-out, like the thousands of investment treaties that allow oil and gas companies to privately sue governments for implementing climate policies.
  5. Mobilize support for vulnerable oil and gas producers in the Global South to restore degraded environments, reskill workers, and seize the opportunities of sustainable growth industries.
Graph showing projected oil and gas production far exceeds 1.5°C limits.

For more information or to interview one of the report authors, please contact Megan Darby, senior communications officer:

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

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