Untapped ambition: addressing fossil fuel production through NDCs and LEDS
Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement will require a rapid decline in global fossil fuel production and related investment. As the key international documents for countries to communicate and enhance their ambition on climate action, nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LEDS) have significant potential to be used by countries to communicate plans to phase out or restrict fossil fuel production. This paper examines 57 NDCs and 8 LEDS to assess whether and how they integrate supply-side approaches. It finds that countries are only making limited use of the potential of NDCs and LEDS to align fossil fuel production with Paris goals. Indeed, various plans foresee continued or scaled up fossil fuel extraction in the future. In doing so, they include insufficient reflection on the climate and equity implications of continued fossil fuel production – omissions that can be addressed as countries submit their LEDS and new or updated NDCs in the 2019-2020 period.