A selection of climate change action posters stuck on a wall; photo by Daria Shevtsova via Pexels.
Climate Action

‘Carbon Bomb’ Projects and their Global Impact

If you ever needed further proof that fossil fuel industries and world leaders/government representatives don’t give a shit about tackling global warming (most notably those that are oil and gas investors); then look no further than the ‘carbon bomb’ projects they’re establishing.

Essentially ignoring the legally binding global framework of initiatives as committed to in The Paris Agreement; member countries including (but not limited to) Brazil, China, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States are actively engineering projects that will push global warming temperatures beyond catastrophic levels.

By signing The Paris Agreement, all 192 member countries (and the European Union) collectively understood that climate change is driven by human behaviour; an explicit and present threat to the health of our planet. The goal of this international accord is to reduce emissions and increase actionable policies that limit global warming temperatures to below 2°C; with a preferred target of 1.5°C. However, while promising universal access to clean, affordable energy by 2030 and going net zero by 2050; those in power are green-lighting oil and gas projects that emit cataclysmic amounts of carbon that will push the planet well beyond its 1.5°C tipping point. These vast projects; set to spew out over 600 billion metric tonnes of CO2 are known as ‘carbon bombs’. 


The lure of colossal payouts in the years to come appears to be irresistible to the oil companies, despite the world’s climate scientists stating in February that further delay in cutting fossil fuel use would mean missing our last chance “to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all”. | Revealed: The ‘Carbon Bombs’ Set to Trigger Catastrophic Climate Breakdown – The Guardian

Even at an increase of 1.5°C, the impact of this rise will generate more extreme conditions, including; heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, crop failures, melting Arctic sea ice, rising ocean levels, loss of marine life (warming/acidic sea water), flooding and coastal erosion. We can adapt to accommodate these challenges to a point, but it’s unsustainable. Populations that rely on coastal and land-based livelihoods, particularly Indigenous communities are at an ongoing and imminent risk of ecosystem loss, increased food insecurity and poverty. By sticking to the 1.5°C goal, the number of people facing climate-related resource limitation and economic instability could be reduced by 2050; but not if the ‘carbon bomb’ projects are allowed to go ahead. 

Some of the world’s largest fossil fuel multinationals are planning (or have already started) 425 ‘carbon bomb’ projects; drilling oil and natural gas that will significantly raise CO2 global emissions. Government leaders and policy decision makers seem to be congratulating themselves for pledging environmental action while actively achieving the opposite to secure our planet’s future.

The reality is that governments of major fossil fuel-producing countries are still not willing to acknowledge the fact that we need a rapid and sustained reduction of coal, oil and gas extraction as part of the global decarbonization effort to meet the Paris Agreement. They remain unwilling, even as climate damages are already widespread and intensifying in all parts of the world. | Ploy Achakulwisut via Thomson Reuters Foundation

A climate action protester at a rally holds up a sign that says, System Change Not Climate Change. Photo by Ma Ti via Unsplash.
photo via Ma Ti/Unsplash

Despite a show of willingness to create bold climate emergency action; tax incentives and subsidies that countries offer to encourage fossil fuel exploration and extraction speak to the levels of resistance and insincerity about addressing this issue. I don’t doubt that there are many within government ranks across the world that want to implement robust change to combat global warming; but as things stand today, not enough is being done.

The U.S. is currently leading in planet-heating emissions with 22 ‘carbon bomb’ projects; that if allowed to proceed could emit as much as 140 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To place that into perspective; it’s roughly four times what the entire world emits each year. This is just one country; the devastation brought by this and all other countries pursuing fossil fuel programs of this ilk is unconscionable.

So, what can we do?

Ultimately, it all comes down to those in positions of power who make the decisions about whether or not these projects go ahead. No matter where we live in the world, we must become better informed about who we’re giving the responsibility of safeguarding our future to. We must encourage leaders to fight both domestically and globally to:

  • Eliminate government-funded financial incentives provided to fossil fuel companies.
  • Weed out legislators who have financial stakes in oil, gas and coal industries, including those receiving campaign contributions/lobbying from them.
  • Phase out fossil fuel exploration and extraction; strategically replacing it with green initiatives.
  • Put an end to coal, oil and gas production on public lands.
  • Robustly regulate current fossil fuel projects to ensure they are minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Hold accountable those industries that do not secure the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Encourage a global collective that shares funding, technology and technical expertise to reduce emissions and usher in a contemporary era of green, sustainable energy. 

Don’t assume that enough is being done or that your country isn’t guilty of double-dealing when it comes to climate action. By all means, celebrate the measures being put in place that seek to combat the effects of climate change; just stay vigilant. If things like ‘carbon bomb’ projects are allowed to continue, the progress we so desperately need will be undone.

Have you heard of ‘carbon bomb’ projects before? What do you think world leaders can do to combat global warming?

Further Info:

The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Expansion Plans Will Be the Death of Us – Mother Jones

Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

43 thoughts on “‘Carbon Bomb’ Projects and their Global Impact”

  1. TRANSATLANTIC NOTE, this is a very interesting and well-needed topic that needs a lot more conversation.
    Thank you for shedding light on the negative effects of carbon emission on climate change. I personally do not think that world leaders or governments genuinely care about global warming. There is too much money tied up in oil and fossil fuel mining; they only care about their pockets and not the interest of the future generation.

    But we all can play a role in helping to preserve the environment and slow down global warming.


    1. I agree with you 100% — money plays such a huge role in keeping projects like these going ahead. Not enough is being done and it seems like we’re going to be the ones living with the impact of that greed. Thanks so much for reading!


  2. Thank you for writing about such an important issue. Truth is that I think all world leaders play their game showing that they care about global warming while signing deals that hardly prevent it from happening. All of them care mostly about their profit thus while they advertise that they care they actually make other deals harmful for this planet.
    However, it is encouraging that most people understand the problem and start charging their habits to protect the environment. I remember I have signed online petitions against profitable but harmful agreements. Apart from these, unfortunately, I do not think there are much more we can do about it.


    1. There really isn’t much we can do if the people we’ve elected to make these kinds of decisions are not willing to do everything they can to limit global warming. Hopefully, the better informed we are the better we can push our leaders/legislators to do the right thing.


  3. I haven’t heard of ‘carbon bombs’ before but this is a crazy world we live in, where people in power act like they don’t give a sh*T about the planet and the environment. I think they have the power to make real change, but are choosing not to and we have to do what we can to change it.
    Thank you for sharing this information.

    Lauren x


  4. The world’s governments are the only ones with the powers to make industries fall inline to save our climate, and they’ve had decades to do something about it. Yet here we are, running full speed into a climate disaster with only token gestures falling at the wayside. It’s a disgrace


  5. This is a great and insightful post. Thank you for sharing it. Climate change is a very real threat to the environment, and fossil fuel companies only care about their bottom line instead of sustainability. We really enjoyed this post.


  6. It definitely comes down to governments doing something about the issue. Even if initiated at a micro level, would need to be sustainable and for governments to supports those projects. But fossil and coal are a big no and should be replaced with green processes. I like the amount of research you do in your topics and the examples and stats were amazing to read. Great job. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger


  7. Informative post.
    I’ve never heard of carbon bombs.
    My blood is boiling. Why do these companies not give a shit?


  8. There’s always more that can be done by those in positions of power. By educating ourselves about these issues and voicing our opinions, we are amplifying our support and encouraging for more to be done. Thank you for sharing such an informative post. I love the new blog look!


  9. It’s an eye-opening article. Nevertheless, the suggestions you have given are hands-on for making the people in power accountable. As Sir David Attenborough said, it’s time we should put Earth before profit. I agree that we should stay vigilant about climate change and demand climate action.

    Thanks, Molly, for sharing a much-needed topic! xx


  10. I haven’t heard of carbon bomb projects but my goodness this is a scary and enlightening article. Big business has always called the shots though, and I honestly don’t see that changing any time soon, unfortunately.


  11. I think the bigger corporations have to take responsibility of their damages caused to the nature among other stuff.


  12. I haven’t heard of the phrase “carbon bomb” before, but I’m well aware that politics plays a big part in decisions regarding meeting the requirements of the Paris accord. Thanks for writing about this important subject.


  13. I believe much comes down to double-standard agendas to mislead the public, including major causes of climate change that go beyond fossil fuels. The best way forward is to keep talking about it and digging deep. Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Molly!


    1. The misinformation and double-dealing is rampant and has seemingly become how politics is done in many countries (if not worldwide). I hope that more and more people come to realize this and stay up-to-date with what’s really going on. Thank you so much for reading!


  14. Most people who have the power of making policies or changing business strartegies are too money minded to even think of climate change because as of now they are safe in their ivory homes. The poor will be the first to face consequences. Thus, it is important that the poor make their voices heard and ensure that the those in power take climate change seriously


  15. I haven’t heard of ‘carbon bomb’ projects before, but I can see it is an important issue to address.
    I want to be hopeful that the world leaders will stop these projects, but in the US where the country is so divided and you still have people who deny climate change is real, I believe that nothing will be done because there are so many legislators who are receiving money from the oil and gas companies.


    1. Certainly in the U.S. it is an upward battle trying to get those in charge to actually act; it’s much the same in many other countries who also have these projects planned or already up and running. I hope this changes and more action is taken. Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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