Recent news coverage about IISD
COP28: Energy transition may cut oil-producing states' revenue by 60%
More than 20 countries dependent on oil and gas revenues could see these sources of funds cut in half by the transition to clean energy. Such an outcome could have disastrous consequences for workers and governments in these "petrostates" without international support to help manage the transition away from fossil fuels.
Climate crisis: The 1.5C threshold explained
In any conversation about climate change, the figure "1.5C" is rarely far from the discussion. But when people talk about "1.5C," what do they really mean? How do we measure it? And where did the figure come from? Is it the right target to be aiming for? And if we overshoot it, will we be able to come back below 1.5C again? Ahead of the climate summit in Dubai, we take a look at some of the questions around this key climate change figure.
Canada's fossil fuel industry is banking on carbon capture to lower emissions. Is it a viable solution?
Fossil fuel companies in Canada have made carbon capture a key part of their pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The idea is to minimize the amount of carbon that ends up in the atmosphere, while continuing to extract more oil and gas. But is that realistic? Here is a closer look at the technology, where it is being used in Canada, and how it could play into the pivotal climate talks that begin Thursday in Dubai.
The fossil fuel phrases that countries will fight over at the upcoming COP28
Getting the world off greenhouse gas-spewing fossil fuels is a key part of global climate negotiations. But whether those fossil fuels are "unabated," and where we need to phase them "down" or phase them "out," are expected to cause fierce debate at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The 'Rarely Unified' Blocs Behind Climate Talks
The UN's climate negotiations involve a diplomatic tug of war between eclectic blocs of countries that group together to push common interests even though geopolitics might divide them. The COP28, or Conference of Parties, begins on Thursday in Dubai and is meant to last 13 days, but climate negotiations often run past their official deadlines as countries haggle until the last minute to find a consensus.
Governments worldwide spent $1.7 trillion of public money on fossil fuels, a new report finds
In 2022, governments globally issued more than $1.7 trillion in public money to support fossil fuels, through subsidies, investments by state-owned enterprises, and lending from public financial institutions, a new analysis found. Simultaneously, financial support for renewable energy generation, grid integration of clean energy and battery storage increased, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development. But it remains insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C, it added.
Global fossil fuel subsidies on the rise despite calls for phase-out
World governments agreed at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow two years ago to phase out "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies to help fight global warming. Since then, however, global fossil fuel subsidies have risen $2 trillion to $7 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund, as governments around the world moved to protect consumers from rising energy prices. At this year's climate gathering in Dubai, EU countries will be looking to harden the COP26 deal to phase out the subsidies by pushing for a deadline of 2030 to get it done, but it is unclear how much support the proposal will gain.
IISD-ELA youth engagement officer recognized for conservation efforts
Emily Kroft has been named one of the 30 Under 30 Conservation Leaders of 2023 by Corporate Knights magazine, a quarterly publication focused on climate change, responsible investing and green corporate citizenship. Kroft said she has been involved with environmental advocacy since she was "around 13." She said she was viewed as the "kid advocate" throughout her post-secondary years, and is now a water policy and youth engagement officer with the International Institute for Sustainable Development-Experimental Lakes Area, working on the IISD Next program.
Canada won't get to net zero without an emissions cap on oil and gas, researchers say
The oil and gas sector is being increasingly scrutinized for its contribution to the climate crisis, as it is estimated that this particular industry is responsible for more than 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions, according to the United Nations. While many producers have said they are committed to the global goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, with production of oil and gas expected to continue to ramp up for the foreseeable future, it’s difficult to see how this will be achieved.
COP28 host UAE to extract nearly 40 billion barrels of oil and gas over 70 years
COP28 host the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has plans in place to extract 38 billion barrels of oil and gas between now and 2085–with significant further reserves that could also be extracted in that time. If all oil producing nations followed such a strategy, the world's carbon budget for 1.5 C would be exceeded many times over.
Time is running out to cut fossil fuel production
Every two years, a group of analysts from around the world join together to work through a straightforward calculation. They add up all the planned future production of oil, gas and coal worldwide, add up how much carbon it would emit when burned, and then calculate how far that would push us past the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5 and 2 C of warming. The 2023 version of the Production Gap Report—compiled by five leading research organizations worldwide, including Canada's International Institute for Sustainable Development—is not happy reading. Projections call for more than twice as much fossil fuel production by 2030 as would be consistent with the 1.5 C target, and roughly 70 per cent too much for 2 C of warming.
Global fossil fuel pipeline double the limit for 1.5 C global warming
The world's major fossil fuel producing countries intend to extract 110 per cent more fossil fuels in 2030 than the limit for keeping global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. Coal, in particular, is 460 per cent over the threshold. Even if compared with a higher 2 C warming scenario–which countries globally have pledged to steer well clear of–planned production will still be almost 70 per cent over budget, according to a report published Wednesday.
Environmentalists release recommendations for next year's budget
Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to unveil the government's Fall Economic Statement Nov. 21, but some environmentalists are already looking forward to next year's federal budget. On Thursday, the Green Budget Coalition (GBC), comprised of several environmentally-focused non-profit organizations, released its set of five recommendations for the next budget. According to Laura Cameron, a policy advisor at the International Institute for Sustainable Development who wrote the GBC's sustainable jobs recommendation, the feds need to provide financing to support Bill C-50, the government's proposed sustainable jobs legislation, which is currently making its way through the House.
World will overshoot 2030 coal limit to tame warming by twice over
Notwithstanding the global consensus among countries that fossil fuel emissions must be eliminated, a new report says that the governments plan to produce twice as much fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.
Fossil fuel-producing countries ignore climate warnings and plan to increase coal, oil and gas extraction
Despite climate warnings and the increasingly rapid expansion of renewable energies, fossil fuel-producing countries are still planning to increase the production of coal, oil and natural gas in the coming decades. To such an extent that, if these projections come true, it will be impossible to comply with the Paris Agreement, which establishes that, to avoid the most harmful effects of the climate crisis, the rise in global temperatures must be kept between 1.5 C and 2 C. Currently, global warming is 1.2 C above pre-industrial levels.
Global Fossil Production Set to Blow Through 1.5°C Climate Limit, New Report Warns
The world's 20 biggest fossil fuel-producing countries are set to extract more than enough oil, gas, and coal in 2030 to defeat any hope of holding global warming to a relatively safe 1.5°C, and Canada is projecting the fourth-largest increase in oil production, according to a new analysis released this morning.
Canada, major fossil-fuel producers failing climate targets, jeopardizing transition
Canada and other major fossil-fuel-producing countries are failing to meet targets to keep global warming in check, putting the world's energy transition at risk, a newly released major international report warned Wednesday.
Canada, major fossil-fuel producers failing climate targets, jeopardizing transition
Canada and other major fossil-fuel-producing countries are failing to meet targets to keep global warming in check, a newly released major international report warned Wednesday, putting the world’s energy transition at risk. The 2023 Production Gap report says the countries are planning to produce 110 per cent more fossil fuels in 2030 than is consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels, and 69 per cent more fossil fuels than what’s in line with a 2 C target.
Interest in offshore oil exploration fizzles off Canada's most eastern coast
No companies wanted to pay to search for fossil fuels off Newfoundland and Labrador's coast this year. Each year, companies are invited to offer money to explore areas in the Atlantic Ocean for oil and gas deposits. But last week, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board announced there were no new bids to explore the region in 2023. The lack of interest contrasts sharply with 2022 when over $238 million worth of exploration licences were awarded by the provincial-federal regulator.
Governments plan more fossil fuel production despite climate pledges, report says
Despite frequent and devastating heat waves, droughts, floods and fire, major fossil fuel-producing countries still plan to extract more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than is consistent with the Paris climate accord's goal for limiting global temperature rise, according to a United Nations-backed study released Wednesday.