Heading to the  International Energy Agency Climate and Energy Summit on October 2nd, in Spain and the United Nations Climate Change Conference  in  United Arab Emirates experts from Asia, Africa, North America, and Latin America provide insights from their region on how any new oil, gas, or coal extraction projects are incompatible with the 1.5ºC limit and any dangerous distractions like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) should not justify business as usual for the fossil fuel industry.

A day after the IEA Net Zero Energy Report UK government approved Equinor’s Rosebank oil field, the biggest undeveloped oil field in the UK, despite the fact that new oil or gas production and expansion are incompatible with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5ºC. 2023 Net Zero Energy scenario reaffirms that governments must stop approving new fossil fuels.

Quotes from experts: 

Catherine Abreu, Founder & Executive Director, Destination Zero 

“Renewable energy is on a meteoric rise – this is a shining glimmer of hope during a dark year of climate chaos. Today’s IEA report once again confirms the main barriers holding back a just transformation of the global energy system: government policies corrupted by fossil fuel interests to give them the advantage, and the trillions of public dollars still being dumped into coal, oil and gas. History will condemn the major producers that are already trying to spin this report to justify their limitless expansion of fossil fuel projects – we can now plainly see the architects of our collective devastation. 2023 is a make-or-break year for the credibility of UN climate talks. This report makes it clearer than ever that outcomes at COP28 must include a global commitment to phase-out all fossil fuels, triple renewable energy, and double energy efficiency.”

Kelly Trout, Research Director, Oil Change International

“The International Energy Agency’s latest Net Zero Roadmap reaffirms a stark truth: To limit global temperature rise there’s no room for new oil, gas, or coal fields. The time for a fast, fair, and fully funded phase-out of fossil fuels is now, with rich countries moving first and fastest and paying their fair share to finance a global just transition. As countries prepare to make serious climate commitments at COP28, they must take into account the unequivocal evidence that the shift away from fossil fuels must happen, and it must happen fast.

“Importantly, the IEA’s updated roadmap shows an increasingly diminished role for many of the same technologies governments and the oil and gas industry are hiding behind to delay a fast fossil fuel phase-out. Because of faster progress on solar, batteries, and electrification the new Roadmap reduces reliance on fossil fuel-based technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS) and gas-based hydrogen. The scenario relies on less CCS than ever before, 40% lower in 2030 than just two years previously. Similarly, compared to the 2021 NZE, the IEA has cut its projection for gas in 2050 nearly in half. Flexible and renewable solutions, not new gas or dangerous distractions like CCS, are the keys to delivering 100% energy access by 2030.”

Dongjae Oh, Oil and Gas Program Lead, Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) 

“The IEA has downgraded the role of CCS in its updated Net Zero report due to its continued failure and stronger performance of electrification and renewable energy. Meanwhile, major Asian fossil fuel companies are rushing to build more oil and gas fields in Southeast Asia with the same old, sweet promises of CCS and net-zero. Korean and Japanese energy companies are signing MOUs for oil and gas exploration in places like Malaysia and Indonesia. And in just a few years, these will all turn into major carbon bombs if they are not stopped now. We must remember that CCS is a solution for the fossil fuel industry, not for the climate and the target to limit temperature rise to 1.5C limit. CCS is not a scalable abatement measure. It is a justification measure for fossil fuel companies to continue oil and gas expansion.”

Lorraine Chiponda, Africa Facilitator for Africa Movement of Movements and Don’t Gas Africa

“Fossil fuels are correlated with human rights violations, land and water rights issues, and health problems. We should not continue a dash for gas in Africa. Our leaders are trying to say that gas can be used as a transition fuel, but that will not comply with the Nationally Determined Contributions that countries themselves have set. We are seeing BP and Shell push for new gas exploration in coastal areas in Senegal, Nigeria, and other countries, and that is not in line with the IEA scenario. In Senegal, more than 5,000 women depend on the coastal areas for their livelihoods. Displacing people for gas extraction has a ripple impact on household nutrition when there is no more room for fishing. Instead, we need to transition to renewable energy. Africa has thousands of gigawatts of renewable energy potential, but has only received 2% of renewable energy investment despite our potential. With investment, we can leapfrog to a renewable energy future.”

Ricardo Baitelo, Project Manager, Instituto de Energia e Meio Ambiente

“Latin America saw two recent positive examples In Colombia and Ecuador, where democracy and people’s voices have been raised to push for phaseout of fossil fuels. On the other hand, Brazil and Guiana are on a different page and plan to intensify the production of oil in the Amazon and Equatorial Margin, as well as Argentina in the case of Vaca Muerta. The political priority of fossil fuels is still the biggest obstacle in the way of the expansion of renewable energies in Latin America.  Despite positive numbers in the pipeline for the increase of wind and solar until 2030, there is a lot to be done in terms of political, regulatory and planning efforts to boost the installation of clean sources in the region. This recommendation is clear in the new version of IEA´s Net Zero Roadmap.”

UK announcement: The UK government has just approved Equinor’s Rosebank oil field, the biggest undeveloped oil field in the UK. This one field will produce more CO2 than the 28 poorest countries do in a year. On top of that, the UK government is handing Equinor, the field’s owner, billions in tax breaks to develop the project

Tessa Khan, Executive Director of Uplift and a climate lawyer 

“By today approving Rosebank, the biggest undeveloped oil and gas field in the North Sea, Rishi Sunak has confirmed he couldn’t care less about climate change. As the IEA reconfirmed yesterday, our world can no longer sustain new oil and gas drilling. And when we’re witnessing scorching temperatures, wildfires, devastating flooding and heatwaves in our seas, it could not be clearer that this is a decision by the Prime Minister to add more fuel to the fire.

“Rosebank will do nothing to lower fuel bills or boost UK energy security. Most of this oil will be shipped abroad and then sold back to us at whatever price makes the oil and gas industry most profit. People in the UK overwhelmingly support moving to cheaper, cleaner renewable energy. This government should be prioritising making sure no pensioner, or family is living in a cold, damp home this winter, not handing billions in tax breaks to obscenely wealthy foreign companies”.

For one on one interviews or queries please contact:

Ashwini Prabha, Global Gas and Oil Network, ashwini@ggon.org +33 769748184

Al Johnson-Kurts, Oil Change International, al@priceofoil.org +1 8025959593