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For Immediate Release


David Turnbull, Oil Change International,,
David Tong, Oil Change International,,
Kelly Trout, Oil Change International,

Press Release

More than 150 civil society organisations urge IEA to put 1.5ºC first in the 2021 World Energy Outlook


Today, Oil Change International and over 150 other civil society organisations from all over the world sent an open letter to International Energy Agency (IEA) director Dr. Fatih Birol, urging him to center 1.5 degrees Celsius (ºC) in the 2021 World Energy Outlook (WEO). The IEA is due to release the WEO in one month, on October 13, 2021. 

In May, the IEA released a special report, “Net Zero in 2050: A roadmap for the global energy system”, which contained the IEA’s first comprehensive scenario for energy pathways to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. This came after years of campaigning by climate advocates, investors, businesses, and diplomats in the #FixTheWEO campaign. Dr. Birol committed that the new 1.5ºC-aligned scenario will be “integral” to WEO 2021 and future WEOs.

Now, civil society has urged Dr. Birol not just to include a 1.5ºC scenario, but to make it the central scenario, and to address risky modelling choices that the IEA made in its May special report. The letter can be found at

David Tong, Oil Change International Global Industry Campaign Manager, said: 

“The IEA must put 1.5ºC first — not last — in its flagship report, the World Energy Outlook. The IEA’s own data from the ‘Net Zero in 2050’ report released in May shows new oil and gas fields are not compatible with limiting warming to 1.5ºC. But if the IEA is serious about steering the world towards a 1.5ºC-aligned future, it must put 1.5ºC at the heart of all its analysis and communications moving forward.

“With today’s open letter, civil society organizations from all over the world have spoken together, calling the IEA to not just put 1.5ºC first, but also to stop gambling on huge growth in carbon capture and storage.

“Gambling the climate on a 4,000 percent increase in carbon capture and storage by 2030 is extraordinarily risky and, the IEA’s own analysis shows, not necessary. Instead of banking on a consistently underperforming and still polluting technology, the IEA should be accelerating the phase-out of fossil gas and coal by relying on proven wind and solar solutions.”

Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director said:

“There is little time left to get the energy future right and the Net Zero by 2050 scenario represents a major step forward. But the IEA has to be bolder by placing the scenario — plus alignment with the Paris goals — at the heart of the upcoming World Energy Outlook, and all future versions. Slashing its over-reliance on carbon capture and storage (CCS), fossil gas, nuclear energy, and biofuels is equally crucial. The world’s most influential energy think tank is overdue on being an authentic climate leader — let’s hope it steps up.”


Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy.


Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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