Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels, or traditional fuels, are formed by natural processes such as decomposition of buried dead organisms, containing energy originating in ancient photosynthesis. Fossil fuels make modern life possible as they are burnt to produce electricity and refined for heating or transportation.
Although fossil fuels are continually being formed via natural processes, they are generally considered to be non-renewable resources as they take millions of year to form. Additionally, the known viable reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being made.

Impact of Fossil Fuels

The use of fossil fuels raises serious environmental concerns with the burning of fossil fuels producing around 21.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Over the past two decades, nearly three-quarter of human-caused emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels. This contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the planet to rise in response.

There are also dangers posed to natural ecosystems that result from collecting fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Oil spills are becoming a normal occurrence, devastating ecosystems for decades wherever they happen, while coal mining greatly strips vitality from lands and causing deforestation.

These are serious issues, which have brought forth a global movement towards the generation of renewable energy to help reduce environmental impact.