UnburnableCarbon_AppliedGeography

Unburnable carbon e petrolio "non estraibile" in Amazzonia: il nuovo articolo scientifico pubblicato su Applied Geography

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Oil production, biodiversity conservation and indigenous territories: Towards geographical criteria for unburnable carbon areas in the Amazon rainforest
Codato, D., Salvatore, P., Diantini, A., Ferrarese, F., Gianoli, F., & Marchi, M. De. (2019)
Applied Geography, 102 (December 2018), 28–38
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2018.12.001

Da alcuni anni il dibattito scientifico internazionale sui cambiamenti climatici e sui combustibili fossili sta confermando sempre più la necessità di “invertire la rotta” e di attuare politiche di transizione e di alternativa alle risorse energetiche non rinnovabili. In uno tra i primi studi pubblicati su Nature viene stimato che l’attuazione di politiche climatiche per contenere l’effetto serra sotto i 2°C entro il 2050 richiederebbe che circa l’80% delle riserve di carbone, il 50% di quelle di gas ed il 30% delle riserve di petrolio rimangano inutilizzate, stoccate nel sottosuolo. Nonostante le scienze “dure” del cambiamento climatico siano giunte ad una quantificazione del carbonio non utilizzabile (unburnable carbon), la ricerca scientifica non ha ancora definito i criteri per la scelta delle riserve di idrocarburi da non utilizzare né identificato aree di potenziale attuazione di politiche ambientali.

I principali highlights dello studio sono:

  • le concessioni per la produzione di energia fossile (petrolio e gas) coprono il 10,5% dell’Amazzonia, (620.679 km2), ossia un’area grande il doppio della Gran Bretagna;
  • nell’intera Amazzonia sono stati calcolati: un totale di 5.065 pozzi per l’estrazione di petrolio e gas, 461.786 km lineari di prospezione sismica 2D e 3D;
  • il 67% del territorio amazzonico dell’Ecuador, il 35% dei territori amazzonici di Bolivia e Colombia sono coperti da concessioni di petrolio e gas;
  • in Perù circa il 24% dei territori indigeni ricade in concessioni di petrolio e gas;
  • tali interazioni spaziali fanno emergere la necessità di sviluppare analisi geografiche multi-criteriali per identificare aree dove lasciare gli idrocarburi nel sottosuolo.

L’articolo è scaricabile gratuitamente fino al 5 febbraio 2019 al link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1YEyrWf-B4Grb
Le versioni in inglese e in spagnolo saranno disponibili sul sito www.geoyasuni.org 

Il gruppo di ricerca in GIScience “Territori delle diversità ecologiche e culturali” (Dipartimento ICEA, Università degli Studi di Padova) – attivo da oltre 15 anni nella ricerca geografica, da remoto e sul campo, circa gli impatti socio-ambientali della produzione di energia fossile in Amazzonia occidentale -in gennaio 2019 ha concluso una parte del lavoro di ricerca, con una pubblicazione scientifica sulla rivista internazionale Applied Geography, dal titolo:

Oil production, biodiversity conservation and indigenous territories: Towards geographical criteria for unburnable carbon areas in the Amazon rainforest”.

Il lavoro si colloca all’interno della linea di ricerca Yasunizzazione della terra: verso un Atlante mondiale del carbonio non utilizzabile. Cartografia e GIS per l’attuazione di politiche territoriali inclusive a scala locale e globale per il clima, la tutela della biodiversità e il rispetto dei diritti umani”, i cui obiettivi sono 1) la mappatura delle relazioni spaziali tra attività di esplorazione ed estrazione di idrocarburi onshore e zone ad elevata diversità ecologica e culturale; 2) l’identificazione di aree dove sarebbe consigliabile lasciare gli idrocarburi nel sottosuolo (concetto definito in letteratura come “unburnable carbon”), sulla base di diversi criteri geografici.

L’articolo pubblicato costituisce il primo lavoro di analisi geografica, sull’intero Bioma amazzonico, delle dimensioni e delle sovrapposizioni tra produzione di energia fossile, aree per la conservazione della biodiversità e territori per la protezione dei diritti delle popolazioni indigene, comprese quelle in cosiddetto “isolamento volontario”. Oltre alle analisi spaziali delle concessioni per lo sfruttamento di idrocarburi (oil blocks), questo lavoro presenta per la prima volta una stima complessiva di altri elementi, di fondamentale importanza per il calcolo dell’impronta ecologica della produzione petrolifera in territori ad elevata sensibilità biologica e culturale: linee per la prospezione sismica 2D e 3D, oleodotti e pozzi per l’estrazione sia di gas che di petrolio.

Nell’articolo si mette anzitutto in evidenza lo stato dell’arte della ricerca sul cosiddetto unburnable carbon, oggi principalmente basata sulla distribuzione delle riserve di idrocarburi e sugli aspetti economici, tecnologici e geologici legati alle medesime attività produttive. Il nostro studio, invece, pone l’attenzione sull’importanza e sul valore di ciò che si trova nel “soprasuolo”, sia in termini di diversità ecologica che culturale, al fine di definire dove è meglio non sfruttare l’energia fossile. Vengono inoltre evidenziate le criticità e le problematiche relative a questo tipo di ricerca, in particolare per quanto riguarda la reperibilità e l’accessibilità a informazioni e dati spaziali sulle operazioni petrolifere on-shore, spesso frammentarie o gelosamente custodite dalle Corporations dell’energia fossile.

 

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