To Tackle Climate Change, Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Oil derricks are busy pumping as the moon rises near the La Paloma Generating Station in McKittrick, Calif, June 8, 2017 (AP photo by Gary Kazanjian).
Oil derricks are busy pumping as the moon rises near the La Paloma Generating Station in McKittrick, Calif, June 8, 2017 (AP photo by Gary Kazanjian).
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The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change contains a curious omission: The phrase “fossil fuels,” which appears nowhere in the nearly 7,200-word document. Nor do the terms “coal,” “oil” or “natural gas,” despite these resources being responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions. That lacuna was no accident. It reflects the decision by national governments, reinforced by industry lobbyists, to focus emissions reduction efforts on reducing the demand for fossil fuels, rather than limiting fossil fuel supply by discouraging or even prohibiting their extraction in the first place.  In other words, as climate activist Tzeporah Berman points out in a powerful […]

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