According to the Global Energy Monitor (GEM), more than 24,000km of new oil pipelines are under development around the world, a distance equivalent to almost twice the Earth’s diameter. The oil pumped through the pipelines would produce at least 5bn tonnes of CO a year if completed, equivalent to the emissions of the US, the world’s second-largest polluter. The oil industry enjoyed record profits in the last year, the report said, and “is using this moment of chaos and crisis to push ahead with massive expansions of oil pipeline networks”.
“For governments endorsing these new pipelines, the report shows an almost deliberate failure to meet climate goals,” said Baird Langenbrunner at GEM. “Despite climate targets threatening to render fossil fuel infrastructure as stranded assets, the world’s biggest consumers of fossil fuels, led by the US and China, are doubling down on oil pipeline expansion.”
The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, said on Wednesday: “The fossil fuel industry is killing us, and leaders are out of step with their people, who are crying out for urgent climate action.”