Given the known links between fossil fuel use and climate change, and the present and predicted consequences of allowing climate change to continue unchecked, it is likely that known reserves of fossil fuels will need to be left in the ground. This prospect is giving rise to concerns of a future financial crisis, a "carbon bubble", as trillions of dollars are at present invested in fossil fuel assets that may never be developed.
A new study, Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted Capital and Stranded Assets, found that:
"Between 60-80% of coal, oil, and gas reserves of publicly listed companies are 'unburnable' if the world is to have a change of not exceeding global warming of 2°C."
Nevertheless, according to Bankwatch.org,
"Both the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are still lending huge amounts to fossil fuels, including coal. Both are currently reviewing their energy lending policies. Stopping climate change isn't possible if a big chunk of public energy lending is still tied up in fossil fuels. Both EIB and EBRD can do much more to support the transformation of our energy sectors."
2. Health impacts of gas drilling in Australia
Research published by the Australian Southern Cross University in February 2013 with regard to the same Tara region of Queensland found a three-fold increase in maximum atmospheric radon (222Rn) concentration inside the gas field compared to outside. A positive trend was also observed between CO2 concentrations and the number of CSG wells.
On May 24, 2013, the Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA) sponsored an event in Dublin entitled "How and why the Irish EPA must ensure human health and our environment are protected against the "fracking" (unconventional gas extraction) industry". The speakers were Dr. Mariann Lloyd Smith, Senior Advisor to Australia's Natural Toxics Network and a member of the Technical Advisory Group of Australia's national industrial chemical regulator, and Juliet Duff, Chairperson of the IDEA.
3. Fracking not the answer for Europe
"Even an aggressive development of gas shales in Europe could only contribute to the European gas supplies at one-digit percentage share at best. It will not reverse the continuing trend of declining domestic production and rising import dependency. Its influence on the European greenhouse gas emissions will remain small if not negligible, or could even be negative if other more promising projects are skipped due to wrong incentives and signals."
On May 21, the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) published a discussion paper entitled “European competitiveness and energy efficiency: Focusing on the real issue”, which "explores how energy efficiency is the most powerful and quickest way to cut the energy costs of European businesses, thereby boosting their competitiveness."
A report published in February 2013 for FOEE by the research group Ecofys came to similar conclusions, finding that energy efficiency could offer the EU €250 billion of net annual savings by 2030, through direct savings and indirect reductions in energy prices,