Report: No nation fully on track to phase out fossil fuels

Climate Action Tracker has published a new analysis revealing that no country is progressing adequately toward transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy generation, although the UK is nearing this goal.

Report: No nation fully on track to phase out fossil fuels

Climate Action Tracker has established global and country-specific benchmarks for fossil gas, coal, and renewable energy shares in the power sector to monitor progress toward a decarbonised world.

Among the countries assessed are Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, the EU27, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the UK,and the US.

According to the analysis, none of the countries examined possess explicit fossil gas phase-out plans, and the fossil gas pipeline currently surpasses that of coal.

Climate Action Tracker’s report lead author Neil Grant said: “Our global benchmark for renewables, mapped onto the national level, highlights the real opportunities for wind and solar expansion. Yet governments still appear to be hedging their bets and procrastinating on a fossil fuel phase-out.”

Developed nations are urged to aim for the upper end of the benchmarking range, yet none, except the UK, are currently on track to meet this goal when assessing future renewables based on historical data.

According to the Tracker, the UK is set to eliminate coal usage by 2024, aligning with a timeline compatible with the 1.5C target.


In terms of specific national targets, both the US and the UK have set 2035 power sector decarbonisation objectives aligned with the phase-out of unabated fossil gas. However, the Climate Action Tracker notes that further action is required to ensure these goals are met.

In 2022, fossil gas accounted for 39% of the UK’s electricity generation, while the target for the next seven years is a range of 2-4%.

While the UK stands out in its progress towards phasing out coal, concerns have been raised by a cross-party Committee of MPs, stating that the country may falter in achieving its 2035 commitment to cease unabated fossil fuel electricity generation.

UK’s renewable energy share

In the UK, the electricity grid and generation contributed to 11% of emissions last year, and the government aims to reduce these emissions by 44 MtCO2e to meet the Sixth Carbon Budget.

While the emissions intensity of power generation decreased by 7% in the previous year, low-carbon sources accounted for 56% of electricity generation in 2022, a 9% increase from 2021.

However, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) identified that credible plans exist for only about 30% of the required emissions reduction. The primary challenge, as per the CCC, is the absence of a credible overall strategy to achieve full decarbonisation of the sector by 2035.

Earlier this year, the CCC urged policymakers to publish a comprehensive long-term strategy detailing the role of low-carbon flexibility options like demand flexibility, storage, hydrogen, gas CCS, and interconnection capacity in reaching the 2035 goal.

The Climate Action Tracker report further highlights the persistent challenge of formulating effective policies, exemplified by fluctuating commitments in the UK, where wind and solar deployment currently falls short of set targets.

The global picture

The Climate Action Tracker report also provides a snapshot of the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

While the global coal pipeline outside of China is shrinking, China’s ongoing approvals for coal plants raise emissions concerns, necessitating drastic reductions in coal power utilisation.

Most countries are not making sufficient progress in accelerating the transition to renewable energy, with Japan and Mexico lagging behind.

Additionally, the UAE’s call for an emissions phase-out, rather than targeting fossil fuels, presents a challenge, as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is expected to play a minimal role in fossil gas power and none in coal.

Comments (1)

  1. Scott Peacock says:

    A truly desperate and depressing picture. Almost at the point at why should I bother to not enjoy my retirement and travel here and there by plane and exchange my EV car for a hybrid as the EV charging infrastructure is not only not wide enough and the regulation is weak such to make it easy to charge. Ie anlmost all providers make it complex and intrusive to connect asking for email and name etc , as well as pre authorization to debit amounts before can start charging. Petrol filling customers don’t face such issues!

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