Natural environment  |  Publications  |  11.02.2013

Point of No Return

This publication by Greenpeace emphasises that the world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. With total disregard for this unfolding global disaster, the fossil fuel industry is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would produce as much new carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020 as the entire US, and delay action on climate change for more than a decade.

The publication, titled "Point of No Return - The massive climate threats we must avoid" argues that continuing on the current course will make it difficult – if not impossible – to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate change. The costs will be substantial: billions spent to deal with the destruction of extreme weather events, untold human suffering, and the deaths of tens of millions from the impacts by as soon as 2030.

Burning the coal, oil and gas from the 14 massive projects discussed in this report would significantly push emissions over what climate scientists have identified as the "carbon budget", the amount of additional CO2 that must not be exceeded in order to keep climate change from spiralling out of control.

The clean energy future made possible by the development of renewable energy will only become a reality if governments rein in investments in dirty fossil fuels and support renewable energy. The world is clearly at a Point of No Return. Either replace coal, oil and gas with renewable energy, or face a future turned upside down by climate change.

Text adapted from the Greenpeace website.

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