Achieving the two-degree warming target

A paper by Energy (ENE) program researchers describes how different GHG emissions levels in 2020 would impact the feasibility of achieving the 2˚C target, based on the Copenhagen Accord of 2009, in the long-term.

2 degrees C

2 degrees C

As part of a more detailed analysis on near-term climate policies and their implications for the feasibility and costs for meeting long-term climate objectives, ENE researchers Joeri Rogelj, David McCollum, and Keywan Riahi published a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change [1].

The paper describes how different GHG emissions levels in 2020 would impact the feasibility of achieving the 2˚C target in the long-term given various scenarios regarding energy efficiency and technology improvements, technology availability, and regional participation in mitigation efforts. 

The major contribution of this paper is the identification of "feasibility windows" that indicate the range of global GHG emissions in 2020 that would provide a high probability of achieving the long-term target in each scenario.

The paper identifies critical 2020 GHG emissions thresholds for meeting the long-term target by hedging against the risks of potential technological failures and the uncertainty of socio-political developments.

ENE’s work in this area provides valuable insights that have important implications for future international climate negotiations and the Durban action plan, which seeks to establish effective post-2015 GHG emissions targets. 

References

[1] Rogelj J, McCollum DL, O'Neill B, Riahi K (2013). 2020 emission levels required to limit warming to below 2°C. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate1758.



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Last edited: 22 May 2014

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