Fossil FuelsIncrease of new US fossil fuel activity threatens Paris climate goals

Increase of new US fossil fuel activity threatens Paris climate goals

According to a new analysis, the global producers of fossil fuels are expected to almost triple the volume of extracted oil and gas from recently approved projects by the end of this decade, with the US spearheading a rise in activity that could completely undermine agreed-upon climate goals.

To prevent global warming over 1.5C (2.7F) and beyond pre-industrial levels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has already declared that new infrastructure related to oil and gas cannot built. Scientists have warned that if the warming threshold set by nations in the Paris Climate Agreement exceeded, the consequences will grow over time and include heatwaves, floods, droughts, and more.

However, nations and significant fossil fuel corporations have pushed ahead with abundant new oil and gas developments after the IEA’s declaration in 2021. Since then, at least 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent of additional oil and gas have found for future drilling, according to a new report by the non-governmental organization Global Energy Monitor in San Francisco.

Following discovery, at least 20 oil and gas fields prepared and authorized for extraction last year, allowing the removal of 8 billion barrels of equivalent oil. According to the report, the fossil fuel industry wants to approve roughly four times this amount, or 31 billion barrels of oil equivalent, over 64 additional new oil and gas fields by the end of this decade.

The study concluded that in 2022 and 2023, the United States, which has produced more crude oil than any other nation in history for the previous six years running, set the standard for new oil and gas projects. Guyana came in second place, with 40% of all newly sanctioned oil during the previous two years coming from American countries.

The world’s already slim chances of staying below 1.5C, a temperature that scientists predict will be surpassed in ten years, might fatally damaged if efforts to cut down the search for new oil and gas are not even somewhat slowed down.

It coincides with large oil and gas businesses undermining or failing to meet their own emissions reduction goals for the globe. The head of Saudi Aramco, the biggest oil corporation in the world, stated that people “should abandon the fantasy” of gradually phasing out oil and gas during a recent industry meeting in Texas.

According to Scott Zimmerman, project manager of Global Energy Monitor’s global oil and gas extraction tracker, “the industry continues to discover and sanction new projects despite the constant and clear warnings that no new oil and gas fields are compatible with 1.5C.” It is disheartening. It demonstrates a lack of supply-side support for climate objectives.

The infrastructure for gas and oil that is currently in use will sufficient to raise global temperatures over 1.5C, and the additional activity that planned would only make things worse. The current report states that since the 2021 IEA report, 45 projects totalling 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent have received full sanction. However, as it excludes “unconventional” extraction methods like fracking, it is highly likely an underestimate of future emissions.

With the recent discoveries, the US has continued to be the industry leader in oil and gas production, but fossil fuel companies are now turning their attention to new regions of the world to increase output, with South America and Africa emerging as project hotspots.

Despite producing little or no oil and gas until recently, four of the 22 countries with significant finds in the last two years—Cyprus, Guyana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe—accounted for more than a third of the discoveries.

The largest single discovery in the last two years has been the Shahini gas field in Iran, which estimated to contain 623 billion cubic meters of gas. TotalEnergies’ Venus project in Namibia comes in second. The third largest new potential oil and gas field is the Kodiak project in Alaska, managed by Pantheon Resources.

Zimmerman stated, “Oil and gas producers have offered all kinds of justifications for continuing to find and develop new fields, but none of these are credible.” “The science clear: either the world pushed beyond its carrying capacity or there are no new oil and gas fields.”

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