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China and Australia Top List of 'Carbon Bomb' Projects

Science & Tech  (tags: climate, climate-change, climatechange, CO2emissions, destruction, environment, energy, globalwarming, globalwarming, greenhousegases, pollution, weather, world, science, scientists, study, research, technology, environment )

- 1912 days ago -
Greenpeace analysis shows 14 planned giant fossil fuel projects will increase global emissions by 20%

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JL A (281)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 4:30 pm

China and Australia top list of 'carbon bomb' projects

Greenpeace analysis shows 14 planned giant fossil fuel projects will increase global emissions by 20%

Oliver Milman, Tuesday 22 January 2013 08.00 EST

Opencast coal mine in Inner Mongolia, China
The Shengli opencast coal mine in Xilin Hot, Inner Mongolia. China's five north-western provinces aim to increase coal production by 620m tonnes by 2015. Photograph: Lu Guang/Greenpeace

China and Australia top a global list of planned oil, gas and coal projects that will act as "carbon bombs" and push the planet towards catastrophic climate change, a Greenpeace report warned on Tuesday.

The Point of No Return study, by consultancy firm Ecofys for Greenpeace, calculated that the 14 giant fossil fuel projects would produce 6.3 gigatonnes of CO2 a year in 2020 as much as the entire United States emits annually.

The largest contributors will be China's five north-western provinces, which aim to increase coal production by 620m tonnes by 2015, generating an additional 1.4bn tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.

Australia's burgeoning coal export industry, already the largest in the world, is in second place due to its potential growth to 408m tonnes of shipped resource a year by 2025, resulting in an annual 760m tonnes of CO2.

Meanwhile, controversial exploitation of oil and gas reserves in the Arctic could release 520m tonnes of CO2 a year, with further major emissions set to flow from other new fossil fuel frontiers, such as tar sands oil in Canada and shale gas in the US.
Carbon bombs map

The Greenpeace report states that these 14 "carbon bomb" projects will increase global emissions by 20% and eat up nearly one-third of the carbon budget that the International Energy Agency says can't be breached if warming is to be kept below 2C, considered the threshold for dangerous climate change.

The analysis suggests that there is a 75% chance of keeping emissions below the 2C target if all 14 projects which are at varying stages of planning and approval are cancelled, with emissions peaking in 2015 before falling by 5% annually.

"If these projects aren't wound back, we're looking at an extra 300bn tonnes of CO2 by 2050, which will make it very difficult to meet the 2C target," said Georgina Woods, lead campaigner for Greenpeace Australia.

"The fossil fuel industry is diversifying and finding new ways to extract resources, often in toxic and dangerous ways."

"This is a last-ditch push by these companies to entrench themselves in a changing energy market. Countries which have agreed [at UN climate talks] that the 2C tipping point can't be passed should not allow these projects to go ahead."

The report comes at a time when China and Australia, the countries set to oversee the two largest CO2 escalations, have been forced to contemplate the potential downsides of major fossil fuel exploitation. Beijing has experienced unprecedented air pollution blamed on industrial output and Australia is suffering a record-breaking heatwave which has been linked to climate change.

Last year, projects such as those on Greenpeace's list were labelled "sub-prime" assets posing a systemic risk to economic stability by a group of high-profile investors, politicians and scientists.

The group warned Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King that efforts to keep the world below 2C of warming will demolish the value of carbon-heavy assets listed in the City of London, creating a "carbon bubble" that will impact institutional investors and pension funds.

Terry V (30)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 5:40 pm

4 Degrees Warmer


JL A (281)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 5:52 pm
Thanks for posting the links to the related videos Terry! If anyone hasn't seen them, I encourage you to take this opportunity. You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 11:31 pm
These countries destroy Mother Earth ,Really unfortunate .Noted & sad .Thanks J.L

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 12:36 am
We are continuing in destroying our earth and our nature and it's just heartbreaking.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 5:22 am
You cannot currently send a star to Giana because you have done so within the last week.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:35 am
Tell us something we don't already know. If the Three Gorges Dam were ever to experience a major break it would pollute SE Asia for miles. How the Ganges hasn't spawned a major epidemic is beyond me.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:40 am
You cannot currently send a star to Theodore because you have done so within the last week.

Natalie V (27)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:04 pm
noted, thanks

JL A (281)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:45 pm
You're welcome Natalie

Ken M (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:39 pm
I am not one of the alarmist types but limiting pollution is sensible.
What strikes me the most is that Australia's Julia Gillard is completely at odds with herself in introducing a carbon tax based on the need to limit CO2 emissions and at the same time promoting fossil fuel consumption.
Oh well! After all, she is a politician and is closer to "Yes Prime Minister" than to reality.
Come to think about that - "Yes Prime Minister" is actually closer to political reality than politicians are likely to admit!

Kara C (15)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 7:00 pm
It's a terrible case in Austalia because coal is our biggest export, if we stop exporting then the country will go broke almost instantly. While renewable energy to use is slowly becoming more commonplace (thankfully) we still have a long way to go and exporting it is a whole different can of worms.

JL A (281)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 7:03 pm
Thanks Ken and Kara for adding your perspectives, which are those of Australians.

Julie W (32)
Monday January 28, 2013, 1:50 am
I am from Australia, and have signed petitions to ban coal mining.

JL A (281)
Monday January 28, 2013, 7:02 am
You cannot currently send a star to Julie because you have done so within the last week.
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