Among the most challenging, will be how fossil fuel–dependent countries (FFDCs) do so, given their economies are the most dependent on fossil-fuel income and carbon-intensive industries. These countries represent almost one-third of the world’s population. They are themselves responsible for roughly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but are home to over 80 percent of emissions embodied in known fossil fuel reserves. Many also have foundational systems built on the back of (expected) fossil fuels and related value chains and are, therefore, at risk as the global low-carbon transition gets fully underway.
Globally, the last three years were the hottest on record. Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry started rising again in 2017 after briefly leveling off. Many regions are experiencing more severe and frequent storms, floods, and drought. According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the climate consequences of a 2°C warmer world are far greater than for a rise of 1.5°C, and we are not on track for either.
, this month’s global climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.