Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Coal Exports Would Lock in Catastrophic Climate Change

Climate
Coal Exports Would Lock in Catastrophic Climate Change

Greenpeace Australia

A new global study has named Australia’s export coal proposals as the world’s second largest fossil fuel expansion, threatening to lock in worst-case projections of global warming.

The 14 carbon intensive projects highlighted in Point of No Return from Greenpeace International range from massive coal expansion in Australia, China, the U.S. 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 U.S.

Groundbreaking analysis by consultancy Ecofys for the report shows by 2020 these 14 projects will increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by six gigatonnes a year. The International Energy Agency 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 U.S. emissions and will lock in catastrophic global warming.

“The same Australian Government warning us that recent deadly heat waves are a sign of things to come is also presiding over a globally significant expansion of coal exports, the resource which is driving climate change,” said Greenpeace CEO David Ritter. “We are willfully sabotaging our own future.”

In a one-page advert in Australia’s national media on Jan. 14, eminent scientists and academics joined the call to end Australia’s coal export expansion, in order to "prevent global warming running out-of-control and destroying lives and livelihoods here and abroad."

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 Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, 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 percent chance of avoiding climate chaos if emissions peak soon and then drop by 5 percent a year and emissions from the 14 projects are cancelled. Greenpeace’s Energy [R]evolution 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.” 

Watch this charming video illustrating the impacts of coal exporting on Australia:

Visit EcoWatch’s COAL EXPORTS pages for more related news on this topic.

 

Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Plastic waste is bulldozed at a landfill. Needpix

The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.

Read More Show Less

Trending

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less
A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less
In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch