A Bleak Climate Change Forecast

The Economist recently published an article covering climate change policy to mark the beginning of the Doha Climate Change Conference. According to current projections, the outlook appears quite bleak. Although the world needed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, they have actually increased by 20% just in the past 10 years. This is a major cause for concern, since the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions must be 11% lower than they are now to guarantee that temperatures do not increase by 2 degrees Celsius. Assuming that greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at this same pace, by 2020 the world will emit  58 gigatonnes of carbon equivalent (GtCO2e), significantly more than the maximum level of 44 GtCO2e required to prevent temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius. As the Economist explains, if countries planned on making major cuts down the line, then we could potentially avoid this catastrophic temperature increase. However, given the political climate and current policies laid out, this appears unlikely. Even if countries adopted the strictest, conditional pledges, countries wouldn’t even come close to the GtCO2e goal needed to prevent temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius.

SSDAN Office

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