“To stay below 2 °C of warming, the world must become carbon negative.”

Sobering degree of global ambition needed to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. This is why I am quite pessimistic regarding natural gas as a “bridge fuel”. Every new fossil fuel-powered utility station being built today, every new piece of energy infrastructure which produces greenhouse gases will need to be retired by 2025-2030 to meet this goal.

Azimuth

guest post by Steve Easterbrook

(7) To stay below 2 °C of warming, the world must become carbon negative.

Only one of the four future scenarios (RCP2.6) shows us staying below the UN’s commitment to no more than 2 ºC of warming. In RCP2.6, emissions peak soon (within the next decade or so), and then drop fast, under a stronger emissions reduction policy than anyone has ever proposed in international negotiations to date. For example, the post-Kyoto negotiations have looked at targets in the region of 80% reductions in emissions over say a 50 year period. In contrast, the chart below shows something far more ambitious: we need more than 100% emissions reductions. We need to become carbon negative:

(Figure 12.46) a) CO2 emissions for the RCP2.6 scenario (black) and three illustrative modified emission pathways leading to the same warming, b) global temperature change relative to preindustrial for the pathways shown in panel (a). (Figure 12.46) a) CO2 emissions for the RCP2.6 scenario (black) and three illustrative modified emission pathways leading to the same warming, b) global temperature change relative to preindustrial for the pathways…

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