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Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C

06/30/2016 - The individual country pledges to reduce greenhouse gases made for the Paris agreement need to be strengthened in order to limit future climate change to well below 2°C. A new analysis by an international team of scientists illustrates that the current Paris pledges would lead to global temperature rise of 2.6 to 3.1°C by the end of the century. In fact, the entire carbon budget for limiting warming to below 2°C might have been emitted by 2030, according to the study published in the journal Nature.
Paris pledges need boost to keep warming well below 2°C

Global greenhouse-gas emissions as implied by INDCs compared to no-policy baseline, current-policy and 2 °C scenarios. See article for full info

“While the Paris Agreement marks a historical and ambitious achievement, the current climate pledges are not yet sufficient to keep global warming in check within the agreed range of 1.5-2°C”, Malte Meinshausen from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Melbourne in Australia explains. “Our comprehensive in-depth analysis shows that countries have to ramp up their actions substantially to deliver on the Paris promises. Postponing this strengthening of climate pledges to 2030 or beyond would prove highly challenging with regard to the common goal of limiting climate change to well beyond 2°C”.

The new study provides a thorough and detailed analysis of the current INDC pledges which countries submitted at the Paris climate meeting in December, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. At the same time, the scientists carefully inspected the uncertainties with regard to future emissions and temperature targets. For instance, as the Paris pledges are not framed consistently and sometimes include conditional statements, this adds uncertainty to emissions projections within the Paris Agreement. Comparing the possible emission levels that the INDC’s could imply, the researchers found a range of uncertainties of 6 billion tons of CO2 equivalent, or roughly the entire emissions of the United States in the year 2012.

Article: Rogelj, J.; den Elzen, M.; Höhne, N.; Fransen, T.; Fekete, H.; Winkler, H.; Schaeffer, R.; Sha, F.; Riahi; K.; Meinshausen, M. (2016): Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2°C. Nature [doi:10.1038/nature18307]

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