Climate action: Half of fossil fuel plants need to close early, study says

Washington DC - The climate crisis demands bold action, and one move would be cutting off the flow of fossil fuels from a bunch of extraction sites way ahead of schedule.

Gas extraction and the pipes needed to move that gas around will have to hit the bench.
Gas extraction and the pipes needed to move that gas around will have to hit the bench.  © John THYS / AFP

An international team published a study saying that about half of the world's fossil fuel projects need to get nipped in the bud to meet climate goals.

To give us a 50-50 shot at staying below an average temp rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, oil, gas, and coal mining needs to stop as soon as possible – far before the scheduled end of life for mining facilities.

Climate experts agree we need to shoot for the 1.5 warming mark to avoid making the effects of climate change that are already happening any worse.

Lead study author Kelly Trout told The Guardian, "Our study reinforces that building new fossil fuel infrastructure is not a viable response to Russia’s war on Ukraine."

"The world has already tapped too much oil and gas."

Survival over profits

Even though climate scientists agree that ditching fossil fuels quickly is the key to stopping the climate crisis, making the move to end extraction early will be a tough sell to oil and gas companies.

They just made huge profits and are extremely unwilling to do what the environment needs.

And thanks to new investments from fossil fuel companies that are effectively carbon bombs ticking down to detonation, the pressure to cut back on mining and extraction projects is even higher.

Taking swift climate action means turning off current oil and gas projects way before they are scheduled to end.

Cover photo: John THYS / AFP

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