Next week’s landmark UN climate science report is likely to set a figure on the amount of fossil fuels that can be burnt if global warming is to be limited to safe levels.
It could warn that less than a quarter of the planet’s oil, coal and gas reserves can be consumed between now and 2050, and set a worldwide ‘carbon emission budget’.
Previous studies have indicated that the world has already used a third of this budget it needs to stay within to avoid warming of more than 2°C. Scientists say rises about this level are likely to be dangerous…
Researchers at the Carbon Tracker Initiative say fossil fuel companies are creating a ‘carbon bubble’ of unusable goods. They say that by 2011 the world had used over a third of its 50-year carbon budget of 886GtCO2, leaving 565GtCO2.
Reserves owned by the top 100 coal, oil and gas companies represent total emissions of 745GtCO2.