Stop endangering the whole world
Countries scurrying to source more natural gas to replace Russian gas supply are risking years of emissions that could thwart climate goals, according to a new research by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT). These countries mostly happen to be the more advanced ones, who had earlier made big pledges to drastically cut back on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, since up until now, they have been the primary emitters. Not only is this unfair to the rest of the world – particularly the more climate vulnerable countries who are least responsible for climate change – but is extremely reckless and dangerous.
According to the CEO of Climate Analytics, a research institute that is part of CAT, the world is currently "witnessing a major push for expanded fossil gas LNG production and import capacity across the world." The projects that are in the pipeline could emit 10 percent of the world's remaining carbon budget – the cumulative amount that can be emitted if warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius is to be avoided. Among them are projects for new gas drilling in Canada and LNG import capacity in Germany and Vietnam.
Without a political understanding, the ongoing energy war and war in general cannot be stopped. And that will only worsen the climate change problem that endangers us all.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries had agreed to attempt to stop GHGs heating the planet by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels. Scientists have made it clear that going past that level would unleash far more severe climate impacts than the deadly wildfires, floods, and rising seas that we are already witnessing today. Yet, due to narrow geopolitical interests, the more advanced countries, while paying lip service to climate goals and lecturing others, are waging an energy war that is putting the entire world at risk – partly by risking nuclear war, partly by ignoring the consequences of intensified GHG emissions.
Bangladesh, being one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, should bring the matter up at the ongoing 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, along with others, and seek to put an end to this madness. Without a political understanding, the ongoing energy war and war in general cannot be stopped. And that will only worsen the climate change problem that endangers us all. Here, we urge the UN to play a more convincing role in persuading countries to find common grounds, and let common sense prevail.
Countries around the world have made numerous commitments to cut down on dirty energy, to invest more on renewables, etc. At a time when scientists are arguing that even those might not be enough, the world cannot afford to move backwards. Instead of making new pledges just for the sake of optics, countries around the world – particularly those most responsible for climate change – should really live up to their past pledges. Only then will their new pledges mean anything, and the world will have a chance of avoiding total catastrophe.