Twin Crises Show Urgent Need to Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels

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“The world is facing two deep crises: a war in Europe and the impending catastrophe of climate change. Both are deeply destabilizing. Both threaten international security and our global economy. Both require action to end the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

“If we continue to pollute the atmosphere by burning oil, gas and coal, we will see increasingly dangerous impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities. At the same time, the war in Ukraine clearly shows that reliance on fossil fuels deeply undermines all of our security, repeatedly disrupting the global economy.

“But that must not be our destiny. As the IPCC report makes clear, we have more ways than ever to reduce our destabilizing dependence on fossil fuels. By moving boldly toward a global economy powered by clean energy and embracing natural climate solutions, we will not only reduce dangerous warming, but we can regain control of our shared economic future.

“One of the most important and immediate actions we can take is to reduce methane pollution. Methane is the primary ingredient in natural gas and its emissions from fossil fuel operations, agriculture and other sectors are responsible for a quarter of current warming.Today, the United States wastes billions of cubic meters of natural gas – through leaks, vents and flares – of which Europe has desperately needed to replace imports from Russia A rapid and large-scale effort to reduce methane pollution from all sources could not only help Europe, but could also slow the rate of warming by up to 30% .

“This IPCC report reinforces the essential role of protecting tropical forests and natural climate solutions in combating climate pollution, and highlights their benefits for biodiversity, food security and other ecosystem services. It also highlights carbon markets as an important tool to promote low-cost emission reductions and identifies international cooperation – in particular the Paris Agreement – ​​as key to achieving ambitious climate goals.

“Charging the path to a stable climate will require bold action across the world, including the passage of major clean energy investments by the US Congress. While we need to rapidly deploy today’s clean technologies, the report recognizes that countries must also invest in innovation to develop and scale new solutions that tackle climate pollution from challenging sectors. The war in Ukraine shows that the world can act boldly when we summon political will. Europe, which has already turned to clean energy, has dramatically accelerated its plans to make this transition, spurred by the need to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas.

“We must use all the tools at our disposal to build a stable future – or face generations of regret.”

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