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A new study urges leaving fossil fuels in the ground. How will it impact business?

January 8, 2015

A new study urges leaving fossil fuels in the ground. How will it impact business?

Katharine Gammon
Thursday 8 January 2015 23.57 GMT

To prevent the Earth from overheating, countries must leave vast reserves of fossil fuels untouched underground. That’s the conclusion of a new report published this week in the journal Nature. Trillions of dollars of known and extractable coal, oil and gas ? including deposits in Canada and the Arctic ? cannot be burned if the global temperature rise is to be kept under the agreed-upon goal of 2C.

While much of the carbon math is known ? about three to five times more carbon in reserve than can be burned to stay within the world-set temperature limit ? this is the first study to look at exactly where those fossil fuels are.

Around the globe, 82% of current fossil fuels must be left underground. In the US, Australia and Russia, more than 90% of coal reserves must be unused, and in China and India, two-thirds of coal reserves are not to be burned in the scenario. The researchers question why fossil fuel companies continue to pour billions (approximately $670bn in 2013) into the search for new oil and gas when there is more underground than humans can safely use.

Read more at The Guardian.

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