Researchers from Climate Action Tracker released a new report [https://climateactiontracker.org/publications/global-reaction-to-energy-crisis-risks-zero-carbon-transition/] last week warning that this reaction threatens to lock in decades of heat-trapping emissions at a time when the window to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and avert the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis is rapidly closing.
“So far, governments have largely failed to seize their chance to rearrange their energy supplies away from fossil fuels,” states the report. “Instead, we are witnessing a global ‘gold rush’ for new fossil gas production, pipelines, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. This risks locking us into another high-carbon decade and keeping the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C limit out of reach.”
Key findings of the analysis include:
- New planned LNG import facilities in the European Union —especially in Germany, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands — could supply a quarter more gas to the E.U. than before;
- Canada plans to fast-track new LNG projects to increase exports;
- The United States has signed a deal to export additional LNG to the E.U., Qatar and Egypt have signed similar deals with Germany and Italy, respectively. Algeria has signed a deal to export additional gas via pipeline to Italy;
- In Africa, old gas pipeline projects are being revived (e.g. Nigeria) and countries with previously no fossil gas exports (e.g. Senegal) are now encouraged to supply gas to Europe; and
- Domestic fossil fuel production has increased in the U.S., Canada, Norway, Italy, and Japan, and new long-term import contracts are closed or extended in the United Kingdom, E.U., Germany, Poland, and Italy.
“If all these plans materialize,” the report warns, “they will either end up as massive stranded assets or they’ll lock the world into irreversible warming.”
“Almost no government supports behavioral change,” the report explains. “Immediate and low-cost options to reduce energy demand and therefore the need for Russian fossil fuels would include shifts in behavior, such as encouraging slower driving by introducing/lowering speed limits, home office policies, restricting car access to cities, or turning down the heating in buildings.”
“These options still seem to be very unattractive to governments,” the authors note. “We have only found governments recommending their population to those behavioral shifts and few incentivizing it.
Study Finds Fossil Fuel Gold Rush After War in Ukraine – Consortium News
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