Climate campaigners have launched the world’s first registry of fossil fuel reserves, production and emissions.
In a press release on Monday, Carbon Tracker and the Global Energy Monitor said the registry was the “first-ever fully transparent” and “public database that tracks fossil fuel production worldwide”.
Named the Global Registry of Fossils Fuels, the inventory includes data from greater than 50,000 oil, gas and coal fields in 89 countries, covering 75 percent of world production. It also makes previously disparate or hard-to-access data publicly available, including to investors, experts and activists.
Mark Campanale, the founding father of Carbon Tracker, told the Associated Press news agency that he hoped the registry would empower groups to carry governments accountable, for instance, once they issue licences for fossil-fuel extraction.
“Civil society groups have gotten to get more of a deal with what governments are planning on doing by way of licence issuance, each for coal and oil and gas, and really begin to challenge this permitting process,” Campanale said.
The discharge of the database and an accompanying evaluation of the collected data has been timed to coincide with two critical sets of climate talks on the international level – the United Nations General Assembly in Recent York which began on September 13, and the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, that may happen in November.
Of their evaluation of the info, Carbon Tracker and Global Energy Monitor found that the USA and Russia have enough fossil fuel still underground and untapped to exhaust the world’s remaining carbon budget, a term that refers back to the remaining carbon the world can afford to emit before a certain quantity of warming occurs, on this case,1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 Fahrenheit).
It also shows these reserves would generate 3.5 trillion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which is greater than the entire emissions produced because the Industrial Revolution.
“We have already got enough extractable fossil fuels to cook the planet. We are able to’t afford to make use of all of them – or almost any of them at this point. We’ve run out of time to construct latest things in old ways,” said Rob Jackson, a Stanford University climate scientist who was not involved with the database.
“I just like the emphasis on transparency in fossil fuel production and reserves, right down to specific projects. That’s a singular aspect to the work,” he said.
Global Energy Monitor said the registry collated data from sources including governments, state-owned and personal corporations, news and media reports, NGOs and on-the-ground contacts providing first-hand details about a project.
Of the 50,000 fields included, essentially the most potent source of emissions is the Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia, which churns out some 525 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, in line with the evaluation. The highest 12 most polluting sites were all within the Gulf or Russia, it added.
“We now have little or no time to handle the remaining carbon budget,” said Rebecca Byrnes, the deputy Director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, who helped compile the registry. “So long as we’re not measuring what’s being produced, it’s incredibly hard to measure or regulate that production,” she told the AFP news agency.
The database, she said, could also help apply investor pressure in countries with large hydrocarbon reserves but saw little prospect of popular pressure to shift away from fossil fuels.
“We’re not kidding ourselves that the registry will overnight end in type of an enormous governance regime on fossil fuels,” she said. “Nevertheless it sheds a light-weight on where fossil fuel production is occurring to investors and other actors to carry their governments to account.”
Eric Christian Pedersen, the top of Responsible Investments at Nordea Asset Management, told Reuters that the registry could help investors attempting to raised understand which assets might be prone to being uneconomic, or “stranded” within the low-energy transition.
“It’s an infinite help to now have all this information, cross-referenced and searchable at our fingertips. Not least to assist us in targeting and refining our thematic engagement and stewardship,” Pederson said. “With the Registry, it can be much easier to incorporate expected future emissions into the evaluation – and thus to discover and prioritise the businesses with the best risk of harbouring assets more likely to develop into stranded.”