A Paris Agreement Compliant Definition for “Abated Fossil Fuels”

9 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2023

See all articles by Chris Bataille

Chris Bataille

Columbia University - Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP)

Alaa Al Khourdajie

Imperial College London

Heleen de Coninck

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Kiane de Kleijne

Department of Environmental Science

Lars J. Nilsson

Lund University

Igor Bashmakov

Center for Energy Efficiency

Steve Davis

University of California, Irvine

Paul Fennell

Imperial College London

Date Written: September 17, 2023

Abstract

COP27 in Egypt, 2022, brought the possibility of a commitment to phase out “unabated” fossil fuels, and recent UNFCCC climate negotiations in Bonn, June 2023, have demonstrated this will require that “abated” will need to be carefully and transparently defined to be consistent with the Paris Agreement goals. Recent literature and the IPCC AR6 WGIII scenario database indicate the role of fossil fuels in future net-zero energy and industrial systems. There needs to be a substantial reduction in overall fossil fuel use, use of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) on the remaining fossil fuels, and minimal use of unabated fossil fuels only where CCS is not possible. Upstream fugitive emissions of methane from coal, oil and gas extraction must also be reduced by 50-80% or more from current levels. Stricter requirements for systems compatible with the 1.5°C limit include all new and retrofit CO2 emitters employing 90-95%+ capture rates starting in the late 2020s and early 2030s. This is not practically feasible for most mobile, dispersed, and smaller volume emitters, which will require alternative mitigation measures. We elaborate on the standards required for abated fossil fuels and reflect as to whether they can be credibly met in the near term.

Keywords: CCS, abated, definition, fugitives, Paris Agreement, capture rates

Suggested Citation

Bataille, Chris and Al Khourdajie, Alaa and de Coninck, Heleen and de Kleijne, Kiane and Nilsson, Lars J. and Bashmakov, Igor and Davis, Steve and Fennell, Paul, A Paris Agreement Compliant Definition for “Abated Fossil Fuels” (September 17, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4574502 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4574502

Chris Bataille (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) ( email )

1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Floor 1
New York, NY 10027
United States

Alaa Al Khourdajie

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Heleen De Coninck

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

PO Box 513
Eindhoven, 5600 MB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.tue.nl/

Kiane De Kleijne

Department of Environmental Science ( email )

Postbus 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

Lars J. Nilsson

Lund University ( email )

Igor Bashmakov

Center for Energy Efficiency

Steve Davis

University of California, Irvine ( email )

School of Education
3200 Education
Irvine, CA 92697-5500
United States

Paul Fennell

Imperial College London ( email )

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