WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Halting new fossil fuel leases on some 1 billion acres off the coasts of the United States would protect at least 62 billion tons of carbon emissions in the ground, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
"More than 45 climate, conservation, indigenous and coastal organizations… filed a legal petition today calling on President Obama to align US energy policy with his climate goals by issuing an executive order to end new oil and gas lease auctions in federally controlled oceans — including the Arctic, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico," the statement said on Tuesday.
An executive order, the environmental group, would be a step toward "limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels" aligned with what was discussed during the 2015 UN-sponsored Paris Agreement.
In order to stay within the 1.5 degree limit, most known fossil fuels would need to remain unburned and underground, the Center for Biological Diversity explained.
This month alone, lease sales were scheduled for US states of New Orleans and Louisiana. The two offshore sales in March are the ninth and tenth under the Obama administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017.