Fight Climate Change: Stop Excavating Fossil Fuels

The incredibly destructive effects of strip mining coal.

Target: Participants in the UN Convention on Climate Change

Goal: A commitment to leave the majority of fossil fuels in the ground.

The World Bank issued a catastrophic report in 2013 indicating that, without serious policy changes, the world’s temperature would rise by 4 degrees Celsius (4C) by the end of the 21st century, while the International Energy Agency predicts a 6C rise if we don’t leave fossil fuels in the ground. Climate change scientists insist average global temperature rises must stay below 2 degrees Celsius (2C) to avoid catastrophic climate change. Even if we succeed a rise of 2C, which is all but certain, will cause “major dislocations for civilization.”

By continuing to extract fossil fuel reserves, we undermine all attempts to lower carbon dioxide emissions. We cannot seriously reduce demand for fossil fuels if we don’t commit to reducing the supply. Easy availability, coupled with subsidies, keeps prices artificially low and encourages wasteful use.

Trillions of dollars of coal, oil and gas must not be extracted from the ground and burned or we will destroy our planet’s ability to support life. A new report in the journal Nature calculates that 82 percent of fossil fuels around the world must be left underground if our planet is going to survive. Researchers question why corporations pump billions (about $670 billion in 2013 alone), into searching for new sources of fossil fuels when we can’t possibly use them without committing suicide.

Global climate conferences must start discussing a date when we can impose a moratorium on the exploration and development of fossil fuel reserves. We have to develop a timetable for annual reductions and mechanisms for enforcement and monitoring, as soon as possible. We must stop extracting fossil fuels and make a commitment to leaving them in the ground, forever.


Dear Participants in the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference,

Despite the fact that the energy industry has spent and continues to spend billions, even trillions of dollars locating and excavating new sources of fossil fuels, we must make a commitment to leaving most of these fuels in the ground or we will destroy our planet. Climate conferences must start discussing a date for a moratorium on extracting fossil fuels if we want this planet to survive.

Back in 2013, the World Bank reported that, minus serious policy changes, the average temperature in the world would rise by 4 degrees Celsius (4C) by the end of the 21st century, while the International Energy Agency pegged the rise at 6C. Climate change scientists already predict “major dislocations for civilization” with a 2C rise. The only way to prevent complete global catastrophe is to leave the majority of fossil fuels in the ground and we must make that commitment as soon as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Stephen Codrington

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One Comment

  1. Michael Guest says:

    Enough is enough. In the past, fossil fuels were causing harmful pollution to get into the air. But now, we need to take more action stop coal and oil companies from doing any more harm to our climate. Fossil fuels should remain in the ground for good. No more drilling, fracking, burning coal, or oil spills.

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