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Majority of fossil fuels should ‘remain in ground’ to fight climate change crisis



If the world wants to control the ongoing climate crisis, the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves owned by developed countries and companies should remain in the ground, an analysis has claimed.

A group of researchers have described the climate change situation to be “absolutely desperate” and have said that 90 per cent of coal and 60 per cent of oil and gas reserves could not be extracted if there is even some chance of keeping global heating below 1.5 C.

This research has highlighted the gap between the reality of the situation and the goals set by world leaders in the Paris Agreement.

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“The (analysis) implies that many operational and planned fossil fuel projects (are) unviable,” the scientists said.

Experts have said that the new plans of fossil fuel industry make sense only if the leaders and countries believe that the oil, gas and coal production has already peaked and a decline of three per cent will now be commencing.

They also warned that countries who rely heavily on fossil fuel revenue, such as Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, are the ones who will be at greater risk.

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The analysis has stated that US, Russia and the former Soviet states will have to keep 97 per cent of coal reserves in the ground to make sure the temperature stays below 2.5 C, while China will have to keep 76 per cent in the ground.

Similarly, all Middle Eastern states should keep two-thirds oil reserves on ground and Canada should keep 83 per cent oil from tar sands should be left untouched.

“It is absolutely desperate,” said Prof. Paul Ekins of University College London, and one of the research team. “We are nowhere near the Paris target in terms of the fossil fuels people are planning to produce.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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