New energy infrastructure in the United States and elsewhere could lock in higher levels of carbon pollution for decades, just as nearly 200 countries try to finalize a greenhouse gas reduction agreement in Paris at the end of this year, InsideClimate News reports.
New fossil fuel pipelines, power plants, and other infrastructure “threaten to deepen the planet’s dependence on fossil fuels and lock in new carbon emissions over the long term, jeopardizing the world’s ability to slow global warming and prevent catastrophic droughts, flooding, and sea level rise,” Douglass writes.
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“The investments also soak up funds that should be poured into non-polluting, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, environmental advocates say.”
Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Anthony Swift notes that infrastructure built today is intended to operate for decades, not just a few years. “In many real respects, infrastructure is destiny,” he tells ICN. In the U.S., which has no comprehensive federal energy policy, “infrastructure has become the nation’s de facto energy policy,” Douglass adds.