The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels is an open, transparent repository of data on fossil fuel production worldwide, expressed in terms of its embedded carbon dioxide emissions.
Historically, efforts to tackle climate change have focused on reducing demand for fossil fuels. While important, greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, fossil fuels still make up around 80% of the energy mix worldwide, and the world is still planning to produce more than double the supply of fossil fuels by 2030 than is compatible with 1.5°C.
A holistic approach to tackling climate change therefore needs to address both ends of the spectrum - supply and demand.
However, limited publicly accessible data has made it difficult to assess how much coal, oil and gas is being produced, where this production is occurring, or how it impacts the remaining carbon budget.
The same gap in data exists for fossil fuel reserves. Information on reserves is typically held by private companies, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with global reserves vary widely based on a range of different methodologies.
The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels was developed by Carbon Tracker, with data support from Global Energy Monitor. The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels is supported by the New York Community Trust and Generation Foundation.
The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels directly addresses this data gap by creating a centralised tool for transparency on fossil fuel supply. It brings together thousands of government and corporate data sources into one place in a fully open source manner, from the global right down to the individual project level.
The Global Registry converts this data into its carbon dioxide equivalent, using a first-of-its-kind, rigorously peer reviewed, open source CO2 emissions model that is able to provide a reliable assessment of the amount of CO2 embedded in fossil fuel production based on the unique features of each country.
The Global Registry:
Aggregates data into a comprehensive open-source database, drawing from government and private-sector sources;
Includes both country-level and project level data - project-level is important as this is where decision-making happens and liability is incurred;
Integrates reserves, production, and emissions data with third-party scenarios to provide essential data for policymakers and others to make 1.5°C aligned production decisions;
Includes life-cycle emissions from fossil fuel projects for both carbon dioxide and methane.
Contains data for over 50,000 fields in 89 countries representing projects covering 75% of global production.
Ranks countries based on absolute emissions and emissions intensities
Establishes an evolving database to serve as a trusted, policy-neutral tool to manage carbon budgets.
Has been reviewed by a technical committee of experts, and will be open for scrutiny and suggestions to ensure it remains as robust and useful as possible.
The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels is designed to be a tool to support policymakers and investors in making sensible, 1.5°C-aligned decisions around future fossil fuel production. The Registry therefore focuses on tracking fossil fuel production by country and by project.
The Registry is also expected to be a useful tool for researchers and non-profit organisations in providing the foundation for rigorous analysis on how the world is tracking towards the goal of 1.5°C, and where production is occurring.
Data in the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels is drawn from a wide range of sources. Where data is not available through existing publicly available structured datasets, it is drawn from Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Mine Tracker and Global Oil and Gas Extraction Tracker.
Global Energy Monitor is a core partner of the Global Registry of Fossil Fuels and specialises in investigating, obtaining and aggregating fossil fuel related data into accessible trackers, with global and regional snapshots and detailed project-level information.
While the data in the Global Registry project has been normalised to enable comparison across multiple datasets, Global Energy Monitor’s trackers primarily contain raw data and are used by academics, activists, businesses, the media, national and international agencies, and fellow research organizations.