Home Sciences “Climate chaos is assured if oil and gas keep going”

“Climate chaos is assured if oil and gas keep going”


The world’s leading energy authority has warned of the serious effects that investment in large oil and gas developments will have. Keeping the projects going would be of little use both in the current energy crisis and in lowering fuel prices, but it would mean accelerating the devastation of the planet. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), believes that countries should seek to replace Russian oil and gas in the short term without damaging their long-term prospects. Otherwise, “the climate chaos It’s insured,” he says.

“I understand that some countries want to get more fossil fuels, but they have to remember that it takes many years to start production,” he said. “[Tales proyectos] they are not the solution to our urgent energy security needs”, he declared in an interview published in The Guardian newspaper.

Precisely, this British newspaper recently revealed that almost 200 projects that will generate large carbon emissions are in the pipeline, or have even already started pumping fuel. Each of them will generate at least 1,000 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions during its useful life, which is equivalent to approximately 18 years of current global emissions.

Companies promoting such projects could end up seeing these investments ruined, Birol warned. “If the world is successful in going zero emissions, these projects may not recoup their initial costs.”

Rising global energy prices have prompted governments to look for new sources of fossil fuels. “I understand why countries are reacting like this,” he said. “But there is the issue of the time horizon.”

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Big new oil, gas and coal exploration projects would take years to produce fuel and could generate high greenhouse gas emissions for decades, Birol warned.

“The most suitable projects are those with short delivery times and quick payback periods, such as the expansion of production from existing fields. Using existing sources more efficiently would also help cut emissions, Birol said.

He added that governments must also urgently seek to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, through insulating homes, lowering speed limits, making public transport cheaper or free, and introducing car-free days in cities.

Either it changes or there will be restrictions

“If we do not have these measures, I am afraid that energy rationing may be on the table,” he warned.

Birol said that, unlike previous oil crises, such as those in the 1970s, the world now has cheap alternatives available in the form of solar and wind power, the price of which has plummeted. This should prompt governments and companies to push harder for renewables.

“I think we have an opportunity to take advantage of this historic tipping point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system,” he said. “This is the first time I have seen such a push for the switch to clean energy.”

“The world does not need to choose between solving the energy crisis and the climate crisis, we can do both.”

The UN secretary-general also called for an end to new fossil fuel projects, warning that climate change posed “an existential threat to all of us, to the entire world.”

In a recent press conference, António Guterres stated: “The main emitters must drastically reduce emissions, starting now. This means accelerate the end of our addiction to fossil fuels and accelerate the deployment of clean renewable energy.”Few chances of staying below 1.5ºC

The IEA warned almost exactly a year ago that no new gas, oil or coal development should take place from this year if global warming is to be limited to 1.5°C. That warning sent shockwaves through governments at the UN Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, where leaders agreed to present national plans in line with the 1.5C limit.

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But many countries and private sector companies have ignored the warning, as The Guardian’s investigation of fossil fuel projects in development has shown. In effect, these ‘carbon bombs’ would eliminate any hope of staying within the 1.5°C threshold.

Greg Muttitt, an energy expert at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, has stated: “Governments and businesses often suffer from a form of cognitive dissonance: while recognizing the urgency and gravity of the climate threat, they continue to develop new oil, gas, coal and mine fields. which will make the problem worse. The political answer is simple: when you’re in a hole, you should stop digging.”

Greenpeace said the Guardian investigation revealed that “the fossil fuel industry’s business model remains a model for climate catastrophe”.

“But what is really shocking is that they are not hiding it. These activities are legal and, in fact, encouraged by governments around the world, particularly those with the largest reserves and the most to lose.”

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