Illustration Production gap
In 2020 year's report "The Production Gap", the researchers analyzed, among other things, how the countries of the world design their recovery packages, to support the economy during the corona pandemic. In the G20 countries, about two thirds of emergency aid has so far been directed at fossil-dependent activities. But at the same time, more and more countries and regions have committed themselves to becoming climate neutral within the next 30-40 years, for example China, Japan, South Korea and the EU.

"Do something constructive of the report's message"

​The pandemic may offer a rare opportunity for countries to transition to a new and more sustainable world, when recovery packages are to be distributed. This is stated by researchers in a new report, which also shows that current emission levels of carbon dioxide are incompatible with the climate targets of 1.5 to 2 degrees temperature increase. Filip Johnsson, professor of sustainable energy systems at Chalmers University of Technology, has read the report and comments on it here.
It has been five years since the Paris Agreement was concluded. The planned extraction of fossil fuels in the world will make the agreement’s global warming goals impossible to meet. A special report, The Production Gap​, was launched in December 2020. Researchers from several research institutes together with the UN's environmental program examined how much fossil fuels are planned to be used by 2030 and compared their use with the fossil-fuel reduction required to limit global warming according to climate goals. The gap has grown since last year.

Filip Johnsson“The report shows a far too large gap between how much the world's fossil fuel use would need to be reduced and different countries' plans to utilize their fossil fuels. In many cases, plans are being made for the expansion of fossil fuel use, and in many cases fossil fuels are being subsidized. It is important to remember that there are many countries, unlike countries such as Sweden, which have large domestic reserves of fossil fuels and they tend to use their resources. We pointed out that challenge a couple of years ago in Dagens Nyheter: No reduction in fossil energy despite a major investment in renewables​”, says Filip Johnsson.

“The positive thing is that many companies have started to communicate that they intend to become climate neutral at a certain year and that this should include all emissions resulting from their products, including emissions in connection with the extraction of materials and inputs, emissions of production and emissions caused by using the product”, says Filip Johnsson, who hopes that many politicians, business leaders and actors in the financial market will embrace the message in the report.

The pandemic has been going on for a while. Is it even possible to change course and meet climate targets now when many industries are fighting for their survival and the government is forced to present crisis package after crisis package?
“I think there is a will among many politicians. But much of the measures and the support that has been decided on so far are to eliminate short-term effects on redundancies and unemployment, and then the capacity to act to influence is not so great. But now time has come to plan for a change”.

What do you think is the best thing about the report?
“That it shows in black and white that it is urgent to change the development. Not least to find ways for the EU and Sweden to establish so-called border adjustments so that carbon intensive products imported from fossil-rich countries are subject to the same carbon dioxide tax as we will have within the EU. There are many indications that it would accelerate the phasing out of fossil fuels in countries such as China and other countries, from which we import much of our consumer goods. It must be “out of fashion” with fossil fuels”.

Who should read the report?
“It is more like the opposite, who shouldn’t read it? However, it is important not to become too pessimistic and instead start doing something constructive of the report's message”, Filip Johnsson concludes.

By: Ann-Christine Nordin


Page manager Published: Tue 29 Dec 2020.