Fossil fuel companies are planning nearly 200 “carbon bomb” projects that would push the climate past international limits, causing catastrophic global disasters, the Guardian reports. The 195 projects, defined by research published in Energy Policy as capable of producing at least a billion tons of CO2 pollution, include 22 oil and gas drilling projects in the U.S. (more than any other country) which, combined, could pump almost four years of global climate pollution into the atmosphere.

“Only the colonial mindset of political leaders in rich countries can make the brutal calculation that the interest of fossil fuel giants and their billions in profit is more important than the lives of people who are overwhelmingly black, brown and poor.” UK climate justice advocate Asad Rehman told the Guardian. Climate scientists warn immediate fossil fuel cuts are needed to prevent even more catastrophically destructive climate impacts. Industries’ plans, 60% of which are already underway, would pump 18 years of current carbon pollution, and the oil and gas industry’s plans to expand and drill new projects would release as much climate pollution as China does in a decade.

Least responsible are hurt worst

Not only will the planned extraction of fossil fuels acutely harm local communities, but those communities are also some of the most vulnerable to the catastrophic, and worsening, impacts of climate change. “It is already creating a massive amount of disruption for the local fishing and subsistence farmers who are being moved off their land,” Daniel Ribeiro, a member of the Justiça Ambiental campaign group, of plans for a huge offshore pipeline and LNG plant in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province. “But if it goes ahead and countries like Mozambique are set off on a fossil fuel track, it will be a global disaster. We can forget tackling the climate crisis … we will all suffer.”. (The Guardian)