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‘Tone-deaf’ fossil gas growth in Europe is speeding climate crisis, say activists

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Activists criticize Europe's expansion of fossil gas infrastructure, warning it accelerates climate change and boosts reliance on unstable regimes
• Despite commitments to decarbonize, a study by Beyond Fossil Fuels reveals only 2% of gas-fired power plants in Europe have a retirement date set, with upcoming projects expected to increase gas generation capacity by 27%.

🔭 The context: The expansion conflicts with the International Energy Agency's advice for wealthy nations to decarbonize electricity within a decade to avoid surpassing a 1.5°C temperature increase
• Italy, the UK, and Germany lead in planned and existing fossil gas capacities, despite G7 pledges for a predominantly decarbonized power sector by 2035

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The continued investment in fossil gas not only threatens to derail climate goals but also exposes Europe to energy price volatility and the risks of stranded assets
• Transitioning to renewable energy sources is seen as vital for both climate mitigation and economic stability

⏭️ What's next: Experts and analysts emphasize the need for clear policies to accelerate the transition to renewables and decrease dependency on fossil fuels
• Technological advancements in battery storage and a shift away from fossil fuel infrastructure without carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions are crucial for a sustainable energy future

💬 One quote: “Investment in renewables, grids, and clean flexibility today is not just good for mitigating the dangerous increase in temperatures but will cut bills for consumers and reduce the risk of price spikes connected with a volatile global gas market,” said Beatrice Petrovich, an analyst at the climate thinktank Ember

📈 One stat: Only 2% of Europe's gas-fired power capacity has a planned retirement date, highlighting the slow pace of decarbonization efforts in the face of expanding gas infrastructure.

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