EL PASO, Texas – The world must cut its production of coal, oil and gas by more than half over the next decade to maintain a chance of preventing climate change from reaching dangerous levels, study finds supported by the UN released last month.
The report released by the United Nations Environment Program found that even though governments have made ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they still plan to extract double the amount of fossil fuels. in 2030 than which would be in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Even the less ambitious goal of capping global warming at 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the turn of the century compared to pre-industrial times would be exceeded, according to the report. Climate experts say the world must stop increasing the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2050, and this can only be done by drastically reducing the burning of fossil fuels as soon as possible , among other measures.
The report, which was released days before the start of a United Nations climate summit on October 31 in Glasgow, found that most of the major oil and gas producers – and even some major coal producers – plan to increase their production until 2030 or even beyond.
He also concluded that the group of 20 major industrialized and emerging economies has invested more in new fossil fuel projects than in clean energy since the start of 2020.
The gap between climate targets and plans to extract fossil fuels – called the “production gap” – will widen until at least 2040, according to the report.
Nowhere is this gap wider than in Texas, where oil production in the Permian Basin is expected to increase by 50% in the next decade alone.
A report by Oil Change International, Earthworks and the Center for International Environmental Law highlights the glaring contradiction between the Biden administration’s climate goals and the expected trajectory of oil and gas production in the Permian Basin.
The report, The Permian Basin Climate Bomb, further reveals that burning the oil and gas expected to be produced in the Permian Basin by 2050 will release nearly 40 billion tonnes of CO2, or nearly 10% of the carbon budget. global remaining to stay below 1.5 degrees. C. 80% of these emissions, or more than 30.6 billion tonnes of CO2, would come from the combustion of liquids and gases produced by new wells which were not in production at the end of 2020.
Even the International Energy Agency, a long-time proponent of fossil fuels, has said oil and gas production must decline this decade and investments in new production must end this year.
“Over the past decade, the Permian Basin has witnessed an oil and gas boom of unprecedented magnitude,” said Lorne Stockman, Co-Director of Research, Oil Change International. “Producers have carte blanche to pollute and methane is regularly released in large quantities. Petroleum exports are fueling the growth in Permian production and today represent about 30% of US oil production. While climate science tells us we need to use 40% less oil by 2030, Permian producers plan to increase production by over 50%. It must not happen. Gulf Coast communities can no longer bear the brunt of this toxic trade or its climate impacts. Rebuilding better means rebuilding without fossils, starting with the Permian Basin.
The six-part Permian Climate Bomb series analyzes the climatic, health, economic and social impacts of the Permian hydraulic fracturing boom. It tracks the flow of Permian hydrocarbons from extraction to export, illustrating the community consequences of building associated infrastructure by highlighting individuals facing the fossil fuel industry. In doing so, this series connects the Permian Basin with environmental injustice and petrochemical expansion on the Gulf Coast.
“Unless President Biden defuses the Permian climate bomb exploding in my backyard, we will not prevent catastrophic climate change or meet our national climate commitments,” Earthworks advocate Miguel Escoto said. West Texas Field and resident of El Paso. “A ‘code red’ demands urgent action, not business as usual. The president can show he’s serious about the climate by declaring a climate emergency, reinstating the ban on crude exports, enacting the toughest rules possible to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas and laying the political foundation for ending new oil and gas production.
A recent study has shown that at the current rate of warming and with policies that fail to reduce the necessary pollution, climate events like heat waves will occur more often, be stronger and last longer, representing a serious risk for the younger generations. Other climatic events like floods and forest fires are also more likely to occur.
“Permian gas is fueling the industrial beast of pollution on the Gulf Coast, particularly in Port Arthur, Texas, my home,” said John Beard, Port Arthur Community Action Network. “Facilities using this gas include the largest refinery in the country; the world’s largest steam cracker and explosive expansions of refining, LNG, pipelines and export facilities.
“This” boom “has contributed to environmental degradation, a significant loss of quality of life, poor air quality, water-borne pollution and a deterioration in the health of my community closed, “he continued. “Permian fractured gas contributes to our significantly higher risk of cancer, heart, lung and kidney disease. And then, the thunderstorms; five major hurricanes in the past 25 years.
“Catastrophic flooding and unusual weather events, all made worse by Permian greenhouse gases,” Beard said. “Port Arthur and the entire Gulf Coast have become a zone of sacrifice for America to satisfy its thirst for toxic fossil fuels. We can no longer afford to be unwitting victims of this exploitation from the use of Permian gas for fracking; it must stop now and use clean, green renewable energy sources in its place.