Saturday, June 04, 2022

Fossil Fuels and Sustainable Goals

 Less than eight years away, 2030 is the year in which climate scientists say global emissions need to be half what they are today if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It is also the year where governments are forecast to have produced 240% more coal, 57% more oil and 71% more gas than is consistent with holding global temperatures at 1.5ºC.

This article by Freddie Daley, a research associate at the University of Sussex and co-author of ‘Fuelling Failure: How coal, oil and gas sabotage all seventeen Sustainable Development Goals’ casts serious doubts on the future of the planet. Progress towards the SDGs will be extremely difficult in a warming world. Sustainable development and tackling climate change are inextricably linked. We cannot achieve one without the other, and failure in addressing one undermines the other. 

Exploration, extraction, refining, transportation and combustion of fossil fuels are undermining both our climate and every single SDG.

The latest IPCC report stated that around 40% of humanity are “highly vulnerable” to the impacts of climate change. Amongst this already large section of the global population, there are approximately one billion children - nearly half of all the children on Earth - who are deemed “extremely high risk” to the impacts of climate change. 

Terms like “highly vulnerable” and “extremely high risk” fail to illustrate the everyday experience of the crisis that is unfolding.

Last month temperatures in Pakistan and India topped 50°C, driving power outages, water insecurity and even flash floods from melting glaciers. 

The longer states wait to phase out fossil fuels, the more suffering will ensue. Sky-high fossil fuel prices have provided bumper profits for oil and gas majors, while many are struggling to make ends meet.

How coal, oil and gas sabotage sustainable development goals (

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