The projects associated with the use of fossil fuels are already disastrous enough. Unbelievable but true, a new study highlights that no new fossil fuel projects are required for net-zero transition.

Researchers from UCL and the IISD conducted the research which featured a future projection of climate change at 1. 5° C above pre-industrial levels. They determined that the world’s current fossil fuel production capacity for oil, gas, and coal-fired power satisfies energy needs as the world shifts to clean and renewable sources.

“Our research draws on a large range of scientific evidence, including climate scenarios from the IPCC, but its message to governments and fossil fuel companies is very simple: There is no room for new fossil fuel projects in a 1.5°C-aligned world. Achieving the Paris Agreement goals means governments need to stop issuing permits for new fossil fuel exploration, production, or power generation projects,” says Co-author Greg Muttitt, Senior Associate at IISD.

Contradicting Current Policies

The conclusions stand as a supplement to a 2021 revelation (updated in 2023) made by the International Energy Agency . It shows that the world does not need new projects to extract oil, gas, or coal to reach the net-zero mark by 2050. However, fossil fuel firms and most governments have proceeded and endorsed new projects affirming that they will be required in the transitional phase.

The UCL-IISD study contradicts those claims, recommending governments legislate to ban new fossil fuel exploration, extraction, or power plant construction projects.

Recommendations from Researchers

The researchers advise the following in their ‘no new fossil fuels’ policy 

  • Capping of new development plans for exploration and exploitation of coal, oil, or natural gas resources.
  • Preventing the construction of any new fossil fuel power plants.

By synthesizing evidence from economics, political science, and law, the authors conclude that this approach offers several benefits for the feasibility of the transition:

  • It is less costly than attempting to phase out existing capacity prematurely.
  • Halting new projects faces fewer legal hurdles.
  • It is politically easier than trying to phase out existing capacity early.

During the process of changing social-moral norms, both civil society and government can contribute. Their cooperation can create a new international norm against new fossil fuel projects. Moreover, governments can phase out such projects and civil societies can demand such actions.

Building Momentum

By establishing a norm that no new fossil fuel projects are required for net-zero transition, the researchers hope to build momentum for a global shift away from fossil fuels. This will also increase investment in renewable energy sources to meet climate goals.

Source: No new fossil fuel projects needed in the transition to Net Zero


Elliot is a passionate environmentalist and blogger who has dedicated his life to spreading awareness about conservation, green energy, and renewable energy. With a background in environmental science, he has a deep understanding of the issues facing our planet and is committed to educating others on how they can make a difference.

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