A report by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said that rich countries must end their oil and gas production by 2034 if global warming must be capped at 1.5 degrees celsius, adding that this would give poorer nations time to replace fossil fuel income.

The 70-page analysis from the centre, released on Tuesday, came as nearly 200 nations kicked off a two-week negotiation to validate a landmark assessment of options for reducing carbon pollution and extracting Carbon dioxide from the air.

The overarching objective, enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, was to cap global warming “well below” 2 degrees celsius, and 1.5 degrees celsius if possible.

A torrent of research since 2015, along with a crescendo of deadly extreme weather across the globe, had confirmed that the lower aspirational target was by far a safer threshold.

Some poorer nations produced only a tiny percentage of global output but were so reliant on fossil fuel revenues that rapidly removing this income could undercut their economic or political stability, the Tyndall Centre report showed.

Countries such as South Sudan, the Republic of Congo and Gabon had little economic revenue apart from oil and gas production.

By contrast, wealthy nations that are major producers would remain rich even if fossil fuel income were removed.

Oil and gas revenue, for example, contributed eight per cent to the United States Gross Domestic Product, but the country’s GDP per capita would still be about $60,000, making the country the second-highest in the world among oil and gas producing nations.

“We use the GDP per capita that remains once we’ve removed the revenue from oil and gas as an indicator of capacity,” lead author and professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, Kevin Anderson, told newsmen.

There are 88 countries in the world that produce oil and gas.

“We calculated emissions phase-out dates for all of them consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals,” Anderson said.

“We found that wealthy countries need to be at zero oil and gas production by 2034,” he said.

The report noted that, by calculation, the very poorest countries could continue to produce out to 2050. Other countries such as China and Mexico were said to be somewhere in between the calculation.

For a 50/50 chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celcius, 19 countries in which per capita GDP would remain above $50,000 without oil and gas revenue must end production by 2034.

Included in this tranche were the US, Norway, Britain, Canada, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Another 14 “high capacity” nations where per capita GDP would be about $28,000 without income from oil and gas must end production in 2039, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Kazakhstan.

The next group of countries included China, Brazil and Mexico which would need to end output by 2043, followed by Indonesia, Iran and Egypt in 2045.

Only the poorest oil and gas producing nations such as Iraq, Libya and Angola could continue to pump crude and extract gas until mid-century.

AFP

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