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UK has considered fifty new fossil fuel projects since COP26

At least three projects have received government approval and are to be carried out over the next three years. Fifty more are known to be in the works.

While I’m privy to dishing out good news on Fridays, it’s pretty hard to ignore the revelation that the UK government has considered at least 50 new fossil fuel schemes since hosting COP26 last November.

As world leaders spent a week making false promises to stave off global heating during the week-long climate summit, the fossil fuel industry was working to secure the worldwide expansion of its business ventures.

The Guardian revealed last week that the industry has been quietly planning 195 oil and gas projects, despite serious and obvious indications that the climate crisis is worsening globally.

These projects, labelled ‘multibillion-dollar bets against humanity halting global heating’, would be responsible for emitting at least 1 billion tonnes of CO2 from start to finish. That’s more than China, the world’s biggest CO2 polluter, emits over the course of a decade.

A number of these have already gotten started in the UK after gaining approval from the government. At the beginning of this year, the Abigail oil and gas field was given the go ahead off the east coast of Scotland.

Travelling 450 miles down the nation, South Wales was granted an extended licence to mine 40 million tonnes of coal. Just weeks later, plans to expand oil production in several areas across England were also approved.  Thanks a lot, Boris.

The information outlined in The Guardian’s report is particularly concerning. It projects that the world’s largest oil companies are on track to spend a collective $103 million on ventures every day for the next decade.

What is this unimaginable sum of money going towards? Good question.

That money is going towards ‘carbon bombs’, or rather a coal, oil, or fossil gas project that has the potential to emit more than a gigaton of CO2.

And while this is ringing serious alarm bells for scientists, activists, and anyone with a basic understanding of how climate change works, it appears those in charge – and those who stand to profit financially – simply do not care.

Since 2011, scientists in the field of climate research warned that fossil fuels must stay in the ground in order to prevent global heating. They warned again in 2015 that at least 75 percent of the world’s reserves should stay in the ground to avoid ‘the worst effects of climate change’.

But it has become ever more clear that companies are prioritising their own financial gain over humanity’s wellbeing. BP’s boss even publicly described the company as a ‘cash machine’ in light of recent price increases.

The abandonment of Russian energy due to the war in Ukraine has only vamped up national government’s justification for looking to tap into fossil fuels on home soil.

‘As Putin continues to use gas as a geopolitical weapon, we make no apology whatsoever for sourcing more of the oil and gas Britain needs from within our own territorial waters,’ said a government spokesperson.

It’s difficult to imagine who – or what – will be able to stop it all from happening.


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