Some countries disagree with IPCC recommendations on fossil fuel

IPCC fossil fuel, CCS
© Vladescu Bogdan

According to documents seen by the BBC, some countries disagreed with fossil fuel phase-out plans recommended by the IPCC report

The leaked documents contain suggestions given from various countries at draft stages of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Released 9 August, 2021, the report took eight years to compile and collates global scientific observations on climate change – with a substantial policy recommendation section.

The IPCC report is expected to form the crux of climate change policy globally. However, the new documents reveal contradictory opinions on these recommendations, via a set of editorial suggestions made by different countries.

One of these disagreements is about the speed of fossil fuel phase-out.

According to the documents, Saudi Arabia, Australia, India, Argentina and Norway all disagree about the speed and exact details of retiring fossil fuel. For Saudi Arabia, an edit asks that: “phrases like ‘the need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales…’ should be eliminated from the report”.

Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest producers of oil in the world, so a reluctance to slowing down on the global journey to stop using fossil fuel makes sense. A senior Australian official said that the complete closure of coal plants was not necessary, while Norway suggests that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a viable part of the plan for reducing fossil fuel emissions.

CCS is simply the act of capturing carbon dioxide at emission sources, then storing or burying it before it pollutes the environment. It can also mean removing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, but alone, it will not decrease emissions as much as a renewable energy system would.

Since the Paris Agreement targets are to reduce carbon emissions to 2C and 1.5C, which are relatively strict margins, the employment of CCS methods is too much of a risk.

An analysis of ocean science in the IPCC report can be found here.


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