A BP study released this week says that greenhouse gas emissions worldwide will rise by 29 percent in the next 20 years, imperiling hopes that the world will be able to prevent the impact of dangerous climate change by the end of the century, the U.K.-based Guardian reports.
The oil and gas company's study comes at a time when the British government is "going all-out" in promoting shale gas fracking as an eventual replacement for coal-powered electricity.
Shale gas exploration has boomed in the U.S. over the past decade, driving down natural gas prices here to historic lows. Because natural gas releases roughly half the carbon dioxide emitted from burning coal, it has been touted as a substitute for dirtier fossil fuels while usage of renewable energy ramps up.
But the study found that the boom in shale gas won't cut emissions after all – the coal that countries would have burned to produce electricity, they now export to other countries that burn it.
Meanwhile, a draft U.N. report says that governments around the world may have to suck greenhouse gases out of the air later this century, to make up for the progress they're not making on reducing carbon emissions now.
Such emissions will need to drop by 40 to 70 percent from their present-day levels by 2050, Reuters reports, to give the world a reasonable chance of meeting the warming ceiling set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 2°C by 2100.
The world is likely to break the 2°C warming target long before then if emissions aren't cut, the U.N. panel says, opening the door to potentially the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
Read the full story at The Guardian.Follow @terrellwrites
MORE: Greenland's Melting Reveals Rapid Changes in the Arctic
Greenland's Melting Ice Reveals A Rapidly Changing Arctic
This series of photos, taken on an expedition to Greenland's North and South lake sites by a team from the University of Washington and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in July 2010, give an up-close view of how quickly the island's ice sheet is melting. (Photo by Ian Joughin PSC/APL/UW)