Fossil fuel projects - A report released Tuesday by Greenpeace warns of an enormous increase in the impact on the global atmosphere resulting from the fossil fuel industry, which is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would raise global carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from fossil fuels by 20 percent in 2020.
The report, by Ecofys, a consulting company specialising in sustainable energy solutions and climate policies, said the addition of CO2 of this magnitude in the next few years would push the climate beyond “the point of no return”, locking the world into a scenario leading to catastrophic climate change.
According to the report, burning the coal, oil and gas from the 14 projects being planned around the world would significantly push emissions over what climate scientists have identified as the “carbon budget”, the amount of additional CO2 that must not be exceeded if the world is to keep climate change from spiralling out of control.
“In 2020, the emissions from the 14 projects showcased in this report – if they all were to go ahead – would raise global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 20 percent and keep the world on a path towards 5°C to 6°C of warming.
'To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the rise in global temperatures needs to be limited to below 2°C,” the report warns, noting that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the rise in global temperatures needs to be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius.
It says the 14 massive projects would add a total of 300 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (Gt CO2 e) of new emissions to the atmosphere by 2050 from the extraction, production and burning of 49,600 million tonnes of coal, 29,400 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 260,000 million barrels of oil.
The “14 dirty energy projects” cited in the report range from massive expansion of coal mining in China, to large-scale expansion of coal exports from Australia, the US and Indonesia, to the development of risky unconventional sources of oil in the tar sands of Canada, in the Arctic, in the ocean off the coast of Brazil, in Iraq, in the Gulf of Mexico and in Kazakhstan, and to gas production in Africa and the Caspian Sea.
The huge gap between what governments say they are doing to prevent catastrophic climate change and what they are actually doing is most evident with these 14 projects, said the report, charging that the governments that have approved them have all agreed that the global average temperature must be kept below 2°C.