• May 29, 2023

Even Italy in the new race for fossil fuels, but for the environment it is the wrong choice

The energy crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine war is pushing governments to invest in fossil fuels, overshadowing the effects of rapidly evolving climate change. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of the Climate Action Tracker (Cat), an independent group that monitors the actions of countries aimed at mitigating global warming, in a report (.pdf) Global reaction to energy crisis risks zero carbon transition on international policies and their consequences on the climate. The most concrete risk, the Cat warns, is that of moving towards a new decade with high emissions, further distancing the already difficult objectives established by the Paris Accords to achieve decarbonisation.

The focus dedicated to investments by countries in fossil fuelspushed by the urgency to meet the supplies of gas and oil arriving from Russia, brings to light how Germany, Italy, Greece and Netherlands have gas imports increased by a quarter focusing on new infrastructures for liquid natural gas (LNG). As is happening in theWest Africa. While announcing increasingly ambitious objectives for the development of alternative energies (solar and wind), many of these countries have tried to take cover for energy supplies by finding alternatives to Russian supplies.

Among the countries indicated for the increase of production of fossil fuels in addition toItalyin the dossier they also appear Use, Canada, NorwayAnd Japanalong with others cited for renewal (or extension) of long-term import contracts such as the UK and other European countries (Germany, Poland And Italy).

According to REpowerEU have been earmarked up to 12 billion euros for gas pipelines and plants for the import of LNG, a short-term parachute, according to the European Commission, pending the turning point for renewables. But all this, the CAT warns, can only lead to an irreversible climate crisis due to a global rise in temperatures well above those provided by the IPCC, which the Cat estimates on 2.7 degrees.

The Cat report summarizes in detail the actions recommended or not to governments to combat the climate crisis and to Italy (rewarded only for its commitment to the development of renewables) in particular, all the bad practicessuch as investments in gas and fossil fuel infrastructure and reduced taxes on oil, diesel and car use.

“There seems to be a real gold rush for new fossil fuel infrastructure,” he explains Bbc the professor Niklas Höhne from Cat Partner NewClimate Institute – “This will probably help from an energy supply standpoint in the short term, but once new infrastructure is built, it will stay there for decades and we will definitely miss the climate targets.”

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