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World NewsActivists push for an abrupt end to global fossil fuel use

Activists push for an abrupt end to global fossil fuel use

Extinction Rebellion local weather activists participate in a Rise and Rebel march organised to coincide with the end of, and anticipated failure of, the COP26 local weather summit on thirteenth November 2021 in London, United Kingdom.

Mark Kerrison | In Pictures | Getty Images

Climate activists and marketing campaign teams are pursuing an abrupt end to the fossil fuel period, condemning the newest spherical of net-zero pledges from many governments and companies as a smokescreen that fails to meet the calls for of the local weather emergency.

Calls to preserve fossil fuels within the floor are anathema to leaders within the oil and gasoline trade, who insist the world will proceed “to be thirsty for all energy sources” within the years forward.

To be certain, the burning of fossil fuels, comparable to coal, oil and gasoline, is the chief driver of the local weather disaster and researchers have repeatedly harassed that one of the best weapon to deal with rising global temperatures is to lower greenhouse gasoline emissions as rapidly as doable.

Yet, whilst politicians and enterprise leaders publicly acknowledge the need of transitioning to renewable options, present coverage developments present soiled fuels are usually not going away — and even declining — anytime quickly.

Tom Goldtooth, a local weather activist and govt director of the North American Indigenous Environmental Network, described the burning of fossil fuels as like filling a tub with far an excessive amount of water. “It is overflowing with too much carbon. The world can’t absorb any more.”

“The simple solution, that we are still demanding, is the world has to turn the valve off,” Goldtooth stated. His feedback got here as he spoke at The People’s Summit for Climate Justice, an occasion hosted by the COP26 Coalition on the sidelines of the Glasgow summit in November.

A employee sprays water to assist settle air pollution attributable to truck and coal-loading exercise at a coal mine on November 23, 2021 in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh India.

Ritesh Shukla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“The net-zero solution is not a solution,” he stated. “It is not going to get this world where we need to go, it is not going to get us to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

To have any likelihood of capping global heating to the objective of 1.5 levels Celsius, the aspirational objective of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, the world wants to virtually halve greenhouse gas emissions in the next 8 years and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

That’s an enormous enterprise, and one which the world’s main local weather scientists have warned could have to incur “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” throughout all features of society.

If you scratch the floor just a bit little bit of most of those net-zero targets, you discover there’s nothing of the novel systemic transformation we want.

Teresa Anderson

Climate coverage coordinator at ActionAid International

The world has already warmed roughly 1.1 levels Celsius above pre-industrial ranges and the newest projections, regardless of quite a few pledges at COP26 in early November, present global heating is on observe for a rise of 2.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

At COP26, the so-called Glasgow Climate Pact sought to construct on the Paris Agreement and forestall the worst results of the local weather disaster, though it confronted sharp criticism over plans to “phase down” coal, fossil fuel subsidies and monetary assist to low-income nations.

Big Oil’s position within the power transition

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its International Energy Outlook 2021 in early October that renewable power sources will seemingly be the first supply of latest electrical energy technology by to 2050, however fossil fuels comparable to pure gasoline and coal will proceed to be used to assist meet load and assist grid reliability.

It comes at a time when the overall quantity of renewable power that is out there is rising, however not as rapidly as the rise in global power demand general.

Fossil fuels accounted for greater than 80% of global power consumption in 2019, in accordance to data compiled by Our World in Data, whereas renewables comparable to wind and photo voltaic accounted for 11.4%.

Nick Stansbury, head of local weather options at Legal and General Investment Management, one among Europe’s largest asset managers, stated he believes oil and gasoline giants could have a “really important” position to play within the power transition.

“We think, clearly, the outlook for oil and gas demand over the next 30 years is not going to look anywhere close to what it has looked like over the past 30. This industry no longer operates where demand just continues to go up relentlessly every single year barring financial crises or recessions,” Stansbury informed CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe” earlier this month.

“But, even under the most aggressive transition scenarios, you do not see oil and gas demand disappearing overnight. Yes, the industry needs to invest less money, but oil and gas is still going to be consumed globally almost certainly in 30 years’ time.”

Stansbury stated power giants “are going to have a really, really important and very positive role to play, both for us as investors in providing us with lots and lots of juicy cashflows — we hope — but also for the world because we cannot simply turn the oil and gas industry off overnight and keep the world running.”

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo (L), Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (C) and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (R) attend an Opec-JMMC assembly within the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on September 12, 2019.

KARIM SAHIB | AFP through Getty Images

OPEC, an influential producer group that produces round 40% of the world’s crude oil, has stated that the narrative that the power transition is from fossil fuels to renewables is “misleading and potentially dangerous.”

In remarks to assembled delegates at COP26 on Nov. 10, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo stated a failure to pay attention to all voices on points comparable to decreasing emissions, power affordability and safety may lead to unintended penalties. These embody market distortions, heightened volatility and power shortfalls.

All of those examples are already evident right now, nevertheless — and at a time when the global power combine remains to be dominated by fossil fuels.

Scholars and ecological economists have labeled makes an attempt to painting oil and gasoline giants as the reply to the power transition as “fossil fuel solutionism.” This time period refers to the messaging that promotes ineffective options and attracts consideration away from more practical measures.

Earlier this 12 months, the International Energy Agency revealed the world’s first comprehensive roadmap to constructing a global power sector with net-zero emissions by 2050.

The IEA stated in May that there could possibly be no new oil, gasoline or coal growth if the world is to attain net-zero by the center of the century. It added authorities pledges at the moment fell “well short” of what could be mandatory to attain net-zero.

‘Offsetting is a large rip-off’

Technologies comparable to carbon seize, utilization and storage and sequestration function prominently in nations’ local weather plans in addition to the net-zero methods of a few of the world’s largest oil and gasoline firms.

Proponents of fossil fuels argue it’s these carbon seize applied sciences that may enable nations and firms to preserve burning fossil fuels.

This is rejected by local weather researchers, campaigners and environmental advocacy teams, nevertheless, who argue these schemes present cowl for heavy polluting actors to proceed with a business-as-usual method.

“Offsetting is a huge scam, it is a massive problem,” stated Sara Shaw, worldwide program coordinator for local weather justice and power at Friends of the Earth International, an environmental group.

“And alongside that, we have nature-based solutions, which sounds so appealing. We see it very much as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sounds really nice but actually, it is another kind of repackaging of net-zero, of offsets, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation by planting trees and creating carbon sinks. It is the same thing, but it has been made to sound very attractive.”

“I think, in order to understand where nature-based solutions are coming from, look at who’s promoting it,” Shaw stated. “It’s oil companies and other big polluters and so that for me this is a real tell-tale sign that this is not what it seems.”

Shaw stated net-zero pledges from many governments and worldwide firms had been largely “tinkering around the edges” of the true drawback. “They just need to stop burning fossil fuels. They need to come out of that business [and] they need to make that systemic transformation.”

Working oil pumps towards a sundown sky.

Imaginima | E+ | Getty Images

Teresa Anderson, local weather coverage coordinator at ActionAid International, a growth charity, stated: “All of these assumptions about net-zero are really relying on the assumptions that net-zero is necessary and sufficient for meeting the 1.5 target. And obviously it is neither.”

“It is understandable that there could be some confusion because net-zero sounds like zero,” Anderson stated. “But actually, net-zero by 2050, which is most of these target announcements, all that really means is that in 2050, so 30 years hence, that government or corporation is going to be offsetting what they pollute that year. It says nothing to what they are doing for the next decade in order to stop polluting now.”

“If you scratch the surface just a little bit of most of these net-zero targets, you find there is nothing of the radical systemic transformation we need,” Anderson stated.

She described net-zero targets as an “accounting trick” that legitimizes a business-as-usual method, permits greenwashing and helps land grabs within the Global South.


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