Jun 8, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Warning flare lit on the race for more gas

Illustration of the Earth with a natural gas flame springing from North America and turning into an arrow pointed towards Europe
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The dash for more fossil fuels in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine is poised to squelch the last chance the world has to limit the severity of global warming to 1.5°C, according to a new report out Wednesday.

Why it matters: The report, from the nonprofit Climate Action Tracker, amounts to a warning from a respected climate progress watchdog about the potential for emissions lock-in.

The big picture: Planned LNG import facilities in the European Union, the report finds, could end up supplying a quarter more gas to Europe than was flowing into the region prior to the conflict.

  • The report spotlights plans for Middle Eastern nations as well as African countries to tap their gas supplies for European buyers.
  • "If all of these plans materialize, they will either end up as massive stranded assets or they'll lock the world into irreversible warming," the report states.

Context: In a separate assessment released on June 3, the same organization found countries have so far failed to come forward with new, more ambitious 2030 climate targets in the wake of the Glasgow Climate Summit, effectively stalling momentum.

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