Production Gap Report 2020

The Production Gap Report 2020 released on 2nd December, revealed that while the pandemic and resulting lockdowns led to short-term drops in fossil fuel production, pre-COVID plans and post-COVID stimulus measures point to a perpetuation of the growing global fossil fuel production gap, risking severe climate disruption.


  • 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.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures to halt its spread have led to short-term drops in coal, oil, and gas production in 2020. But pre-COVID plans and post-COVID stimulus measures point to a continuation of the growing global fossil fuel production gap, locking in severe climate disruption.
  • To date, governments have committed far more COVID-19 funds to fossil fuels than to clean energy. Policymakers must reverse this trend to meet climate goals
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a reminder of the importance of ensuring that a transition away from fossil fuels is just and equitable. Countries that are less dependent on fossil fuel production and have higher financial and institutional capacity can transition most rapidly, while those with higher dependence and lower capacity will require greater international support.


Six main areas of action for governments could help ensure a managed, just, and equitable transition away from fossil fuels that “builds back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Ensure COVID-19 recovery packages and economic stimulus funds support a sustainable recovery and avoid further carbon lock-in.
  • Provide local and international support to fossil-fuel dependent communities.
  • Reduce Existing Government Support for Fossil Fuels.
  • Introduce Restrictions on Fossil Fuel Production Activities and Infrastructure.
  • Enhance Transparency of Current and Future Fossil Fuel Production Levels.
  • Mobilize and Support a Coordinated Global Response. The Paris Agreement’s global stocktake, nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LEDS) offer opportunities to facilitate a transition away from fossil fuel production through the UN climate change process

About Production Gap Report

  • The first Production Gap Report was launched in November 2019.
  • The report is produced jointly by research institutions – Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Overseas Development Institute, and E3G – and UNEP.
  • It measures the gap between the aspirations of the Paris Agreement on climate change (to limit warming to 1.5°C and 2°C) and countries’ planned production of coal, oil, and gas.

Source: Civil Services Chronicle February 2021

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