According to 432 Dutch scientists, the fact that the Cabinet wants to allow new gas drilling in the North Sea runs counter to climate goals. “Allowing new gas infrastructure will lead to additional emissions of greenhouse gases in the coming decades. This runs counter to the Dutch government’s climate ambitions,” the researchers wrote in an open letter on Wednesday.
The researchers belong to the websites “Scientists4Future NL” and “Scientific Revolution”. According to them, the science is “absolutely clear that we are in a climate emergency.”
They warn that fossil fuels must be phased out quickly. Otherwise, “it becomes increasingly unlikely that warming will be limited to 1.5°C, which is the safer target of the Paris Agreement.”
Scientists are calling on the government to “take seriously the climate crisis”. It should also immediately stop granting permits for new infrastructure to extract fossil fuels, which also includes natural gas.
At the beginning of this month, the government announced that it wanted to allow drilling for gas 19 kilometers off the coast of Chermonikog. This should be an alternative, among other things, to Russian gas. The Netherlands receives less and less because Russia has stopped the supply to the Dutch merchant GasTerra, because the company refuses to pay in rubles.
‘Absolutely undesirable new fossil projects’
In addition, gas extraction from Groningen has already been largely halted in recent years, in preparation for the field’s complete shutdown. Extraction will be stopped in Groningen because it causes a lot of damage to homes in the area.
Scientists point out that new fossil projects are totally undesirable if the world wants to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Countries acknowledged during last year’s Glasgow Climate Summit that if warming exceeds this, the consequences will be even more serious.
In their letter, the critical researchers also point to words of caution from the IPCC. According to his calculations, emissions from current fossil fuel projects alone are so high that warming would exceed a critical limit.
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