The Guardian is out with an exclusive, explosive report based on months of research that documents the scores of new projects fossil fuel companies are proposing, enough to wipe out the world’s remaining carbon budget and shatter any effort to hold global warming to 1.5°C.
“The fossil fuel industry’s short-term expansion plans involve the start of oil and gas projects that will produce greenhouse gases equivalent to a decade of CO2 emissions from China, the world’s biggest [carbon] polluter,” the UK-based newspaper reports. “These plans include 195 carbon bombs, gigantic oil and gas projects that would each result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifetimes, in total equivalent to about 18 years of current global CO2 emissions. About 60% of these have already started pumping.”
The world’s dozen biggest oil companies are on track to spend US$103 million per day through the end of this decade, “exploiting new fields of oil and gas that cannot be burned if global heating is to be limited to well under 2.0°,” The Guardian adds.
The story cites the United States, Canada, and Australia “among the countries with the biggest expansion plans and the highest number of carbon bombs,” as well as some of the highest per capita fossil fuel subsidies.
“This is crucial work by @dpcarrington and Matthew Taylor,” tweeted activist and essayist George Monbiot. “The oil companies, unless governments step up to stop them now, will destroy everything, pushing Earth systems past their critical thresholds. By everything, I mean everything.”
“This is, essentially, a pre-emptive criminal investigation,” added writer Eliz Mizon. “This is how oil barons are burning millions of lives.”
This is a brilliant piece of investigative reporting, and we can’t do it justice with a quick summary. So pull up a chair and click through for the longer read—the main post here, a second story here on the 140 billion tonnes of emissions that could be unleashed by the oil and gas fracking boom in the United States.