UCL Energy Institute


Global COVID-19 recovery plans must invest more in clean energy – Production Gap Special Issue

3 December 2020

A special issue of the Production Gap Report from leading research organisations and the UN has been released with Steve Pye from UCL Energy Institute co-authoring Chapter 2.

A coal power plant

A Special Issue of the Production Gap, released on the 2nd December found that to follow a 1.5°C-consistent pathway, the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6% per year between 2020 and 2030. Countries are instead planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2%, which by 2030 would result in more than double the production consistent with the 1.5°C limit. This discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production levels and the global levels necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C is the production gap.
The report looks at the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery measures on the production of coal, gas and oil. The report found that whilst global lockdown measures led to short-term drops in coal, oil and gas production, pre-COVID and post-COVID recovery measures indicate continual growth of the fossil fuel production gap.  
The report says that to date, governments have committed US$230 COVID-19 funds to fossil fuels compared to US$150 clean energy. This increased investment into fossil fuels over cleaner energy puts countries at risk of failing to meet emissions targets, contributing further to severe climate disruption. The report calls for policymakers to reverse this trend. 
Steve Pye from UCL Energy Institute was an author on the second chapter of the report focusing on estimating the production gap.

Read the full Special Issue at productiongap.org