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LONDON, UK: Business watchdog Global Witness says the 50-plus oil and gas companies who authored and signed a ‘net-zero’ carbon reduction agreement at COP28, will be responsible for 156 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions in the next 25 years.

According to analysis based on the Rystad Energy database, the NGO says the signatories of the UAE ‘Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter’ have only agreed to achieve net-zero emissions from their operations by 2050.

As a result, up to 90 percent of the emissions from 265 billion barrels of oil and 26.7 billion cubic metres of gas will be burned by end users - equal to 62 percent of the Earth’s remaining 1.5C carbon budget.

Saudi Aramco and ADNOC are projected to produce a combined 136.4 billion barrels of oil and 5.5 billion cubic metres of gas resulting in 64.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Of the international oil companies, ExxonMobil, Equinor, TotalEnergies, Eni and Shell are forecast to collectively produce 57 billion barrels of oil and 8.4 billion cubic metres of gas to emit 38.6 billion tonnes of CO2.

Heralded by the UAE as a big win for the environment, the list of signatories include 30 national oil companies: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Bapco Energies, Ecopetrol, EGAS, Equinor, GOGC, INPEX Corporation, KazMunaiGas, Mari Petroleum, Namcor, National Oil Company of Libya, Nilepet, NNPC, OGDC,ONGC, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pertamina, Petoro, Petrobras, Petroleum Development Oman, Petronas, PTTEP, Saudi Aramco, SNOC, SOCAR, Sonangol, Uzbekneftegaz, ZhenHua Oil and YPF.

And over 20 energy companies also added their names to the declaration: Azule Energy, BP, Cepsa, COSMO Energy, Crescent Petroleum, Dolphin Energy Limited, Energean Oil & Gas, Eni, EQT Corporation, Exxonmobil, ITOCHU, LUKOIL, Mitsui & Co, Oando plc, Occidental Petroleum, OMV, Puma Energy (Trafigura), Repsol, Shell, TotalEnergies and the Woodside Energy Group.

"You'd think the hottest year in the last 125,000 would be enough to end greenwashing once and for all - but since it wasn't, let's state it plainly,” said Bill McKibben, climate campaigner and co-founder of 350.org. “No means no - there's not a way to square 'decarbonisation' with fossil fuel expansion. They mean the exact opposite.”

Global Witness senior fossil fuels investigator Patrick Galey added: “After looking at the detail of this pact, signed to great backslapping by bosses of some of the world’s largest polluters, I have only two questions: Who do these people think they are, and how stupid do they think we are?”

Galey declared the agreement was little more than a forgery; allowing the fossil fuel industry to produce and sell billions of barrels of oil and gas for decades.

READING, UK/BOLOGNA, Italy/BONN, Germany: The EU Copernicus Climate Change Service says 2023 was the warmest year on record and the first time every day exceeded 1.0°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level.

Nearly 50 percent of days were more than 1.5°C warmer than the 1850-1900 level, and two days in November were, for the first time, more than 2°C warmer.

Other Copernicus highlights include:

• 2023 is confirmed as the warmest calendar year in global temperature data records going back to 1850
• 2023 had a global average temperature of 14.98C, 0.17C higher than the previous highest annual value in 2016
• 2023 was 0.60˚C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and 1.48˚C warmer than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level
• It is likely that a 12-month period ending in January or February 2024 will exceed 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level
• Each month from June to December in 2023 was warmer than the corresponding month in any previous year
• July and August 2023 were the warmest two months on record. Boreal summer (June-August) was also the warmest season on record
• In September 2023, the temperature deviation above the 1991–2020 average was larger than in any month in any year according to the Copernicus fifth generation ERA5 - atmospheric reanalysis - dataset (0.93˚C higher than the 1991-2020 average)
• October, November and December 2023, each with a temperature of 0.85˚C above average, ranked all joint second-largest in terms of temperature deviation above the 1991–2020 average.

"2023 was an exceptional year with climate records tumbling like dominoes,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. “Not only is 2023 the warmest year on record, it is also the first year with all days over 1.0˚C warmer than the pre-industrial period. Temperatures during 2023 likely exceed[ed] those of any period in at least the last 100,000 years.”

The Copernicus scientist acknowledged the “dire precedent” but added it didn't mean governments have allowed mankind to surpass the limits set by the Paris Agreement [yet] as they refer to periods of at least 20 years “where this average temperature anomaly is exceeded”.

This view is not shared by former NASA scientist James Hansen who warned Congress in 1988 of a warming global climate to no avail.

He says mankind has already exceeded the Paris Agreement ceiling and at the beginning of January, 2024 he published another warning together with colleagues Makiko Sato and Pushker Kharecha:

"December was the 7th consecutive month of record-shattering global temperature, driven by the combination of a moderately strong El Nino and a large decrease of Earth’s albedo. The El Nino will fade in the next few months, but we anticipate that the string of record monthly temperatures will continue to a total of 12 and possibly 13 months because of Earth’s unprecedented energy imbalance.

"By May the 12-month running-mean global temperature relative to 1880-1920 should be +1.6-1.7°C and not fall below +1.4 ± 0.1°C during the next La Nina minimum. Thus, given the planetary energy imbalance, it will be clear that the 1.5°C ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes."

Copernicus is a component of the European Union’s space programme and is its flagship Earth observation programme, which operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Climate Change, Emergency, Land, Marine, and Security.

http://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

OXFORD, UK: A report from Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment says heavy dependence on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology would cost at least US$30 trillion a year more than renewable energy, energy efficiency and electrification by 2050.

The report notes the cost of CCS implementation has not dropped in 40 years, in contrast to the dramatic fall in solar, wind, and batteries.

“Any hopes that the cost of CCS will decline in a similar way to renewable technologies like solar and batteries appear misplaced,” said Oxford Smith School Honorary Research Associate Rupert Way. “Our findings indicate a lack of technological learning in any part of the process, from CO2 capture to burial, even though all elements of the chain have been in use for decades.”

The volume of CO2 being captured and stored worldwide has approximately doubled in the last decade to 49 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The technology is primarily used by the oil and gas industry to capture CO2 for enhanced oil recovery rather than storing it.

“CCS will likely be needed for some industries and perhaps for negative emissions, but seeing it as a way to compensate for ongoing fossil fuel burning is economically illiterate,” added Richard Black, study author and Honorary Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. He said governments need to “ get serious” about CCS use “and that means three things: scaling up investment, sticking to essential use cases, and being very clear that CCS cannot be a blanket solution.

“Centering national and global decarbonisation strategies on a rapid scale-up of renewables and a corresponding reduction in fossil fuel use will leave us better off and we know it can be done.”

Reliance on carbon capture and storage (CCS) could release an extra 86 billion tonnes of greenhouse gase (GHG) emissions by 2050, according to new analysis by think-tank Climate Analytics.

The calculation is based on the use of CCS by the fossil fuel industry to extract oil and gas while continuing to emit methane.

The report also finds that discussions around abatement are creating the false impression that CCS can enable the expansive use of fossil fuels while still meeting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

“The term abated is being used as a Trojan horse to allow fossil fuels with dismal capture rates to count as climate action,” declared report author Claire Fyson of Climate Analytics. [It] "may sound like harmless jargon, but it’s actually language deliberately engineered and heavily promoted by the oil and gas industry to create the illusion we can keep expanding fossil fuels."

The IEA has consistently downgraded its estimation of the role of CCS in the energy transition due to the decrease in te cost of renewable energy and the greater potential for alternatives to fossil fuels.

“The false promise of abated fossil fuels risks climate finance being funneled to fossil projects, particularly oil and gas, and will greenwash the unabatable emissions from their final use, which account for 90 percent of fossil oil and gas emissions,” explained Bill Hare, Climate Analytics CEO.

Climate Analytics is a global climate science and policy institute engaged around the world in driving and supporting climate action aligned to the 1.5°C warming limit.

https://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/
https://climateanalytics.org/

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