Government hypocrisy on major energy projects is fueling climate change and placing populations at risk, Greenpeace International said as it released a new report revealing the alarming threat posed by a planned massive global increase in emissions from coal, oil and gas projects.
The 14 carbon intensive projects highlighted in the Point of No Return report range from massive coal expansion in Australia, China, the US and Indonesia, to oil expansion in the tar sands of Canada, the Arctic and Brazil to new gas production in the Caspian Sea and the US.
“These new climate changing mega projects are the direct result of the hypocrisy shown by a handful of governments. These governments claim they want to prevent catastrophic climate change, but shamefully continue to approve and promote major fossil fuel projects that will lead to climate chaos and devastation,” said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International.
Groundbreaking analysis by consultancy Ecofys for the report shows by 2020 these 14 projects will increase CO2 emissions by six gigatonnes a year. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says despite years of government promises to reduce emissions, CO2 emissions are already at a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes.
The Ecofys modeling found that the yearly CO2 emissions from these projects will be higher than the total US emissions and will lock in catastrophic global warming.
Even the World Economic Forum, in its Global Risks 2013 report for this year’s gathering in Davos, warns that we are on course for the global temperature to increase by 3.6 to 40 C, possibly by 6 degrees. These increases will be well above the promise of governments to keep global warming to below a 20 increase.
“Given the human suffering, destruction and economic turmoil of recent extreme weather events, a world with runaway climate change is a frightening prospect. We cannot let that be our legacy,” said Naidoo, who is meeting key business and government leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.
The report features an Ecofys pathway showing a 75% chance of avoiding climate chaos if emissions peak soon and then drop by 5% a year and emissions from the 14 projects are cancelled. Greenpeace’s Energy Revolution shows that renewable energy and energy savings can deliver the energy our economies need.
“We are running out of time to prevent catastrophic climate change,” said Naidoo. “The companies promoting and the governments allowing these massive climate threats must replace them with renewable energy right away and become part of the solution to climate chaos.”
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