Research Briefing | Feb 10, 2022

Is it still possible to limit global warming to 1.5C?

A key aim of the climate negotiations at COP26 was the notion of keeping 1.5°C alive. While the emission reductions promised at Glasgow fell shy of that figure, countries were asked to return at COP27 with improved pledges to cut further.

What you will learn:

  • The window for limiting global warming to 1.5°C is rapidly closing.
  • The existing carbon budget – the amount of CO2 that can be emitted while still giving the world a 50% chance to contain global warming within 1.5°C compared with preindustrial levels – is only 500GtCO2.
  • Equally concerning are committed carbon emissions, which suggest that projected emissions from electricity-generating infrastructure already in place exceed the remaining carbon budget.
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