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Oil pumps in California. (Photo: CGP Grey/flickr/cc)

'Pretty Obvious,' says US Climate Envoy, We'll Have to Leave Fossil Fuels 'In the Ground'

A global deal on climate change, admits top official, will require countries and industry to forgo developing reserves of oil, coal, and gas

Deirdre Fulton

Fighting climate change on a global scale will "obviously" require that fossil fuels stay in the ground, State Department climate change envoy Todd Stern said in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

According to the Guardian, Stern told a forum at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, that for the world to combat global warming necessitates "a solution that leaves a lot of fossil fuel assets in the ground. We are not going to get rid of fossil fuel overnight but we are not going to solve climate change on the basis of all the fossil fuels that are in the ground are going to have to come out. That’s pretty obvious."

The newspaper described Stern's statement as "the clearest sign to date the administration sees no long-range future for fossil fuel." It comes a week ahead of United Nations climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, and in the wake of this month's announcement of a non-binding agreement between the U.S. and China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.

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