Interactive Graphic: growing fossil fuel reserves v. shrinking global carbon budget

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New Oil Change International interactive graphic shows growing fossil fuel reserves in contrast to shrinking global carbon budget

WASHINGTON, DC – New analysis by Oil Change International shows that global fossil fuel reserves continue to expand while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other scientific and industry analysts repeatedly show that our remaining budget for burning fossil fuels has shrunk to less than one third of existing reserves.

The Oil Change analysis shows that fossil fuel companies gained access to more than twice as much in fossil fuels as they produced between 2007 and 2011. They replaced the 377 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) consumed and added another 415 billion BOE on top of that.

The numbers are presented in a new interactive online graphic, which can be found at

“The first rule of holes is simple: when you’re in one, stop digging. We are in a huge hole when it comes to the climate and yet we continue digging our way to climate catastrophe,” said Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. “There is no logical reason to continue expanding our fossil fuel reserves; doing so only continues to line the pockets of Big Oil, Gas and Coal executives while putting our communities and planet in peril.”

Oil and gas companies in particular continue to spend billions to explore for new reserves, bolstered by massive subsidies from governments. Recent estimates of subsidies for fossil fuel production range from the hundreds of millions to many billions per year.

“Our governments continue to use massive amounts of taxpayer dollars to incentivize exploration for new oil and gas at a time when science is telling us we already have far too much to burn,” said Kretzmann. “It’s time our leaders put an end to fossil fuel subsidies, starting immediately by ending subsidies that encourage the expansion of fossil fuel reserves.”

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