This event, hosted 22 September 2021 during Climate Week NYC, illustrated the threats posed to biodiversity, protected lands and local communities by the continued construction of fossil fuel pipelines.
- Sivan Kartha, PhD, Program Research Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
- Bart Wickel, PhD, Senior Scientist, SEI
- Diana Nabiruma, Senior Communications Officer, Africa Institute for Energy Governance
- Omar Elmawi, Campaign Coordinator, StopEACOP
- Liliana Jauregui, Senior Expert Environmental Justice, IUCN NL
- Ryan Brightwell, Researcher, Editor, Human Rights Campaign Coordinator, BankTrack
- Ploy Pattanun Achakulwisut, PhD, Scientist, SEI, Author of Fossil Fuel Trends and Production Gap reports
To meet internationally agreed climate goals, there can be no new expansion of fossil fuel supply and existing production must be phased out. Yet countries and companies are still actively expanding production, pressing into previously unexploited frontiers with billions of dollars in infrastructure investments.
In fact, countries plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with a 1.5°C temperature limit. The extraction and use of fossil fuels not only drives global warming, but is also contributing to the extinction crisis. It has local to regional impacts as it fragments and destroys tropical forests and other habitats, degrades water resources, pollutes air, soil, and groundwater, encroaches on protected areas, and harms local people, including Indigenous communities.
Researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute have compiled an extensive collection of data into GIS maps for the rapid threat identification of fossil fuel expansion projects. This approach serves as an early warning system to shed light on the many converging threats and provides tools for governments, stakeholders and community members engaging with decision-making on proposed fossil fuel projects. The proliferation of extraction frontiers into more ecologically rich regions will expand the effects of fossil fuel exploitation to more communities, ecosystems and threatened species, as well as push internationally agreed climate targets definitively out of reach.