Linking fossil fuel sales to emissions reductions

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Pollution
February 7, 2022

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An opinion piece by Anthony Artuso, featured in The Hill on February 7, 2022:

Over 135 countries covering nearly 90 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have now pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century or soon thereafter. That is certainly encouraging but a gap remains between country pledges and the emission reductions needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. More concerning is the much larger gap between the pledges countries have made and the policies they have implemented.

Analysis by the International Energy Administration concludes that full implementation of country pledges could limit global warming to 1.8 degrees — but without stronger policies and incentives, global warming will likely exceed 2.5 degrees and could approach 3 degrees. The gap between stated intentions and implemented policies could be narrowed considerably by linking fossil fuel sales to emission reductions. Here’s how that could work.

Fossil fuel producers would be required to steadily reduce net attributable emissions, including emissions from company operations and emissions attributable to fossil fuel sales, less emission reduction credits. The pace of required reductions in net emissions would be set consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Historical production levels, less a reserve for new market entrants, could serve as the primary basis for the initial allocation of attributable emission allowances to fossil fuel producers and importers.


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