Former president Barak Obama echoed protesters in the streets of Glasgow in asking delegates of the COP 26to take a more aggressive tack in halting climate change.
Despite several agreements signed during the first week of the COP Obama was critical of progress noting that the world is falling short on meeting the goals required to contain imminent temperature rises due to climate change to manageable levels.
According to the UN current commitments will lead to a 2.7C degree warming by 2100, as emissions continue to rise. In order to reach an ideal 1.5C limit in temperature rise, emissions would have to be halved from their current level of 60Gt per year by 2030.
US oil production grew by 88% during Obama’s two terms, leading Obama to tweet in in 2018: “Suddenly America is the largest oil producer, that was me people … say thank you.”
A report from the UN environment program UNEP notes that the 15 major fossil fuel producing nations, including the United States and Canada, plan to produce 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with 1.5C global warming. Oil and gas contributed almost $1.7 trillion to US GDP in 2019, the equivalent of 7.9% of economic output, as well as supplying 6.8% of total labor income.