Today the International Energy Agency released its World Energy Outlook and confirmed estimates that the overwhelming majority of known fossil fuel reserves (75-80%) will have to be kept in the ground to avoid 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise. 350.org founder Bill McKibben, who is on a national tour discussing this math, issued the following statement:
“A week after we launched the nationwide “Do The Math” tour, the planet’s chief energy watchdogs put out a huge report that essentially confirms what we’ve been saying: most of the carbon in the fossil fuel industry’s reserves has to stay below the ground if we’re going to keep the planet from disastrously overheating.(1)
“For American leaders, keeping carbon in the ground means blocking the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, stopping coal ports on the Pacific Coast, ending mountaintop removal, and cracking down on rampant fracking. Easy long-term gestures aren’t enough any more; we’ve delayed so long that we have to stop exploiting new extreme energy.
“This is the basic, horrifying math of the planet we live on. Business as usual will bust it–that’s why we’re on the road all month and why a divestment campaign is suddenly building out of nowhere.(2)
“Our math–from Rolling Stone and 350.org–is suddenly the mainstream math. It’s the fossil fuel industry that’s the outlying radical fringe.”
CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, 350.org, +1 510-501-1779.
1. More information on the tour is at math.350.org.
2. 350.org and partners are building a nation-wide campus divestment movement. Endowments at the country’s universities exceed $400 billion and they should not be invested in an industry that is cooking the planet. More information is at https://gofossilfree.org/.