The math is clear: the world has already discovered more fossil fuels than we can safely burn. The historic Paris climate agreement signed last December set a goal that the world should , with a firm upper limit of 2° C. But a has found that even the oil and gas extraction projects that already exist are enough to generate greenhouse gas emissions that would put us over the 1.5° limit. Adding in emissions from existing coal mining projects would push us past the 2° guardrail, into dangerous, uncharted territory.
Despite all this, oil companies – in fact their current business model depends on finding as much new oil each year as they sell. This means they are pushing deeper into untouched and risky frontier areas as existing oil fields decline. From or the , to developing Canada’s carbon-intensive , to natural gas , to deepwater offshore drilling in places like the Gulf of Mexico, these new projects are unsafe, unnecessary and inconsistent with a healthy climate.
Although oil extraction projects have high upfront costs, once those initial investments are made, the oil can be pumped cheaply for decades to come. This dynamic can undermine the adoption of cleaner alternatives and “lock-in” dangerous emissions of heat-trapping gases well past the