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What Are Carbon Bombs?


A group of environmentalists, lawyers, and activists have come together to identify and ‘defuse carbon bombs’– coal, oil and gas projects that have the potential to contribute significantly to global warming.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are carbon bombs?
  2. What is the plan for ‘defusing’ carbon bombs?

What are carbon bombs?

  • It is an oil or gas project that will result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.
  • Whenever coal, oil, or gas is extracted it results in pollution and environmental degradation.
  • Further, carbon emissions take place in particularly large amounts when fuel is burned.
  • In total, around 195 such projects have been identified world over, including in the US, Russia, West Asia, Australia and India.
  • According to the report, they will collectively overshoot the limit of emissions that had been agreed to in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
    • The agreement was to contain the global rise in average temperature to 2 °C and strive for the target of 1.5 °C as compared to pre-industrial levels – when the widespread use of coal for industry in the beginning in the mid-19th century led to a rapid rise in average global temperatures.

What is the plan for ‘defusing’ carbon bombs?

  • The network working towards this goal is called Leave It In the Ground Initiative (LINGO).
  • Its mission is to “leave fossil fuels in the ground and learn to live without them.”
  • It believes the root of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, and the 100% use of renewable energy sources is the solution.
  • On its website, it has listed carbon bomb projects from all over the world.
    • This includes the Carmichael Coal Project owned by the Adani Group, Gevra Coal Mines in Chhattisgarh owned by Coal India, and Rajmahal Coal Mines in eastern Jharkhand owned by Eastern Coalfields.
  • LINGO aims to organise ground support for protesting such projects, challenge them through litigation, and conduct analysis and studies for the same.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023