As the climate crisis worsens, and as pressure grows on citizens around the world to curb their habits and reduce their footprint, the media coverage of the world's biggest carbon emitters has felt very lacking. As a matter of fact, if all inhabitants of our planet dramatically changed their ways of life, it would matter little compared to the doom promised to us by existing and future large-scale fossil fuel projects.
Exposing the main culprits
Last week, two French nonprofits, Data for Good and éclaircies, came under the spotlight for an excellent new initiative. CarbonBombs exposes 425 projects in 48 countries, whose collective Cumulative Lifetime Emissions--CO₂ emissions the project is estimated to be responsible for--would amount to 1,200 GigaTons of CO2.
We used the data collected for the initiative (and available here) to create a comprehensive dashboard that quickly highlights the main culprits. Click on the image below to open in a full screen, or follow the link here.💣
Why is this work important?
Mapping and pointing at the main culprits for new carbon emissions is key to highlight
governments' responsibility. They are ultimately guilty for allowing these carbon bombs to be planned, built and operated on their sovereign soils. It's not our place to simplify the hyper-complex and entangled geopolitics of energy, but the bottom line is simple: officials (elected or not) are responsible for the life, and death, of the fossil fuel projects that are currently shutting down all hopes of staying under the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold rise in global temperature.
And even though citizens cannot be deemed directly responsible for the footprint of these catastrophic projects, those living in nations where governments are elected can do something about it. In Australia, for example, the per capita impact of these bombs is 1,752 tons of CO2. That's 876 years per citizen of a recommended personal yearly footprint of 2 CO2 tons/year. Nothing that lowering the AC at home can fix.
What can we do?
Going against governments or the friendly energy conglomerates can feel slightly daunting to the humble activist. But there are ways to act.
Support climate activists and back projects to stop new Carbon Bombs from emerging: the nice folks at Chili App are harnessing technology to put climate action in the hands of anyone owning a smartphone. Every day, you can back campaigns by reaching out to your elected representatives with AI generated emails, or share your support and discontent on social media.
Switch from your traditional energy supplier to a "greener" one. French TotalEnergies, despite their glorious greenwashed rebrand, ranks #4 in the list of companies involved in carbon bombs.
Write them a terrible review on verified reviews websites. That one might seem small, but it really can influence the behavior of other consumers. Also, we cannot seriously have one of the worst climate killers, such as TotalEnergies, be rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot. Please. I beg thee. 🙏