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The Production Gap 2021

Research reports

Written by Ipek Gençsü, Angela Picciariello

The Production Gap Report — first launched in 2019 — tracks the discrepancy between governments’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. The report represents a collaboration of several research and academic institutions, including input from more than 40 experts. UNEP staff provided guidance and insights from their experience leading other gap reports.

This year’s report presents the first comprehensive update of the production gap analysis since our 2019 assessment. The report also tracks how governments worldwide are supporting fossil fuel production through their policies, investments, and other measures, as well as how some are beginning to discuss and enact policies towards a managed and equitable transition away from fossil fuel production. This year’s report features individual country profiles for 15 major fossil fuel-producing countries, and a special chapter on the role of transparency in helping to address the production gap.

Assessment of the production gap is based on recent and publicly accessible plans and projections for fossil fuel production published by governments and affiliated institutions. For other elements of the report, such as the magnitude of producer subsidies or the status of policies to limit production, the report draws from a mix of publicly available government, intergovernmental, and research sources as cited and listed in the references.