The letter was authored by a globally prominent climate scientist, Drew Shindell of Duke University, and co-signed by 44 scientists from North Carolina and beyond.
Dr. Shindell’s letter is entitled “Scientists’ appeal for North Carolina to close, not expand, fossil fuels for electricity.” Co-signers include Dr. Orrin Pilkey, emeritus professor at Duke University, and Dr. Michael Mann of the University of Pennsylvania.
Shindell first began urging North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2019 to lead a national moratorium on new natural gas infrastructure due to the science showing methane (natural gas) as a key driver of the climate crisis. Since then, the professor has led international science teams finding that curbing methane emissions is crucial for humanity to have “a fighting chance” to prevent irreversible climate chaos.
The scientists’ new message to the NC governor and Duke Energy CEO is explicit: “[Duke Energy’s] plans for greatly increasing the use of natural gas in coming decades to generate electricity are completely out of step with the science reflecting the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels.” Duke’s carbon plan projects 8,300 to 11,700 MW of new gas: p. 86, Table E-84.
Other key points in the scientists’ letter include:
- “… reducing emissions of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants this decade will slow global warming faster than any other mitigation strategy and rapidly slow the accelerating suffering from heatwaves, droughts, superstorms and fires.”
- “Because Duke Energy is one of the nation’s largest electric power providers, and is based in this state, action by both of you to change course could have sweeping, positive repercussions well beyond state borders.”
- “Without your action, we remain concerned that North Carolina’s positive climate efforts will be outmatched by Duke Energy’s expanding use of natural gas.”
NC WARN urges everyone to spread the scientists’ courageous message and challenge Duke Energy’s years-long greenwashing propaganda.