We have too many fossil-fuel power plants to meet climate goals
To keep global warming below 1.5°C, a new study finds, we’ll also have to retire a lot of old plants and factories.
The fossil-fuel burning power plants, factories, vehicles, and buildings we've already built will, if operated normally over their full lifetimes, almost certainly warm the Earth more than the Paris Agreement climate target of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), a new study concludes.
The implications are striking: To limit warming to 1.5°C., not only should no new fossil-fuel-using infrastructure be built, ever again, some existing power plants need to shut down early—and yet today many new power plants are under construction or planned.
“Our study is dead simple,” said Steven Davis of the University of California, Irvine, a co-author of the paper published in Nature. “We wanted to know what happens if we don’t build any more fossil-fuel-burning stuff as