A carbon bomb is defined as a project (mine, oil well or similar) which if allowed to go ahead will emit 1 billion tonnes of carbon over its lifetime. A guardian analysis suggests that there are around 200 of these so called carbon bomb mega projects around the world. This is the equivalent of 18 years of total global emissions.
There are a number of risks.
- If these projects were to survive, it does not take many of these projects before all our carbon targets as a planet are essentially unreachable.
- There is an enormous risk to the funding of these projects – although not enough has yet been done to address climate change, attitudes have changed dramatically over the last few years. Big projects of this sort always take a lot of money to get started, yet if humanity succeeds in transitioning to a low carbon economy, then these projects will barely make any money at all.
In other words, if we are not careful, we could have a stark choice. Either have a financial crisis that has the potential to dwarf everything that comes before, as trillions ($4.6 trillion has been invested into fossil fuel projects since the 2016 climate agreement) becomes completely worthless, or allow business as normal and face run away climate change that could decimate vast areas of Africa Asia Australasia and South America lead to billions of climate change refugees and the likely collapse of ecosystems around the globe.
I know which I would choose, and given that banks and investors know full well what is to happen, they should loose everything. Of course the problem is that many people not involved in making choices may loose their pensions and similar if this was to happen