Despite Ambitious Climate Pledges, Achieving Climate Goals Will Take a ‘Miracle’

The combined emissions from these three countries compared to global emissions, with the thick solid line representing a global pathway consistent with 2 °C.

Brad Plumer in Vox recommends “this new paper in Environmental Research Letters by Glen Peters, et al. It’s the clearest presentation I’ve seen of how far off course the world is from its 2°C climate goal. And it explains why the United States, Europe, China, and even India would need to radically rethink their climate policies if we wanted to stay below that target.” “In their paper, Peters and his co-authors sketch out a plausible carbon budget if we want a 66 percent chance of staying below 2°C … Roughly speaking, the world has just 765 gigatons of CO2 left to emit. We currently emit about 35 gigatons per year.” “The authors then compared this carbon budget (the dark line) with what the United States, the European Union, and China are currently promising to do on emissions between now and 2030:” “There’s a huge problem here: If the United States, EU, and China all followed through on their current emissions pledges, they’d consume practically the world’s entire carbon budget by 2030 — leaving only scraps for the rest of the world (the part shaded in gray).” “Lately, a growing chorus of climate observers have been pointing out that without a massive and arguably infeasible course correction, the world simply won’t meet its goal of staying below 2°C of global warming … Add this paper to the pile. It concludes that there’s a ‘high risk of exceeding 2 °C given current trends.'”
Topics: wonk-wire