Coal is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel and phasing it out is a key step to achieve the emissions reductions needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Our research shows that the EU and OECD countries must stop burning coal for electricity by 2030, China by 2040 and the rest of the world by mid-century in order to meet commitments made in Paris in the most cost effective manner.
Since 2009 over a hundred Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and many others have been calling for limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Placing the 1.5°C limit alongside the legally binding goal to hold global temperatures “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” in the Paris Agreement was a major victory for vulnerable countries. This page is an information pool for material around the 1.5°C temperature limit.
Loss and Damage refers to the impacts of climate change that can no longer be avoided through adaptation or mitigation. It is one of the key issues for vulnerable countries, who have contributed the least to climate change. They call on the developed world to provide support to cope with Loss and Damage, which otherwise threatens their economies, cultures and the lives of their people. This page provides background material and key resources, including scientific studies and briefing material relating to the policy process under the UNFCCC.
The Paris Agreement has entered into force in November 2016, when the double threshold of 55 countries and 55% global emissions was crossed. We continue to track the progress of ratification on this page.
Japan stands at a crossroads ahead of its Presidency of the G20 in 2019. Its potential role as a leader of climate ambition and clean technology depends on it making the right decisions to establish a sunset for coal power generation. This shift must include both its domestic energy policy and its finance for coal technology overseas.
Most countries need to urgently update their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be in line with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. But even without considering the much-needed emission reductions this entails, rapid technology developments in key sectors over recent years make it an economic and political necessity to update NDCs as their underlying assumptions are outdated already today. This is good news for the Talanoa Dialogue as these cost reductions and already visible climate action can be the springboard for more ambitious NDCs in 2020.
As global temperatures continue to increase, Caribbean SIDS face significant levels of both economic and non-economic loss and damage. The region has seen an increase in the number of recorded weather and climate hazards and resultant impacts on biophysical and human systems. Loss and damage refers to impacts of climate change that occur despite adaptation and mitigation efforts. This brief provides a background on loss and damage, its importance for the Caribbean, tools and methodologies to determine costs of loss and damage, and potential innovative financing mechanisms.
Caribbean SIDS are among the most heavily indebted per capita developing countries in the world and are also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Public debt significantly restricts capacity and fiscal space to build resilience to climate change and thus undermines debt sustainability and economic growth. Caribbean SIDS are tasked with addressing low and stagnated growth, high public debt and vulnerabilities to climate change impacts. This briefing looks at how debt for climate swaps may provide an avenue for SIDS to address debt challenges while also increasing resilience to climate change.
Carbon pollution from Western Australia's current and proposed natural gas projects would be over four times higher than what Australia's energy system can emit under the Paris Agreement. Rather than risk stranded assets by investing in gas, it would be much smarter for WA to take advantage of its vast renewable energy resources.
There has been much talk of “Blue Carbon” in the Bonn climate negotiations. But what does it really mean? This briefing sets out the issues and finds that the use of blue carbon to offset and hence effectively avoid required emission reductions in other sectors would undermine our ability to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Apart from being the largest source of CO2 emissions, coal combustion is also a major threat to public health globally. About 82% of EU, 80% German and virtually all Polish coal power plants do not comply with a new EU regulation on industry air pollution emissions standards that they need to meet by 2021.
Limiting warming to 1.5°C is of paramount importance to protect the oceans. This briefing provides an overview of the latest science on key risks for ocean systems including from sea- level rise, ocean acidification and impacts on coral reefs and other marine and coastal ecosystems.
Following the string of high-intensity tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin in 2017 and the devastating impacts on small island states, a number of questions have been raised about linkages between these cyclones and climate change. This briefing provides clarity on scientifically-supported connections between existing tropical cyclones and climate change.
There have been proposals for the UNFCCC to adopt a dual-term greenhouse gas accounting standard: 20-year GWPs alongside the presently accepted 100-year GWPs. It is argued that the advantage of such a change would be to more rapidly reduce short term warming and buy time for CO2 reductions. This briefing shows why these changes would be counterproductive and the benefits overstated.
On June 1, President Trump has announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, leaning on many dubious claims in support of his decision. Our experts have done a thorough fact check of the speech.
Should the government accept the minimum electricity sector pathway suggested by the Finkel Review, Australia would very likely not be able to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement. Here's our analysis.
When should the EU shut down its 300+ coal plants to meet the Paris Agreement's long-term temperature limit? Our report outlines a science-based schedule for a coal phase-out in Europe.
This briefing outlines why it is misleading to conflate negative emissions technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere with proposed geoengineering techniques, such as Solar Radiation Management (SRM)
In 2015 annual global mean warming reached 1°C above preindustrial levels for the first time in more 11 000 years. 2016 was a year of extreme temperatures and likely on annual basis 1.3°C above preindustrial levels with widespread damages globally. This has caused many to wonder whether the 1.5°C temperature limit is already breached. This article explains the science behind why this is not so.
This page outlines the scientific, technical and economic feasibility of holding warming well below 2°C, and below 1.5°C by 2100. It addresses the consequences of limited climate action to date, it discusses implications for the negotiations on a new climate agreement in Paris, and it reviews some critical mitigation options, like decarbonization, renewables, bio-energy, carbon capture and storage, and the combination of the latter two – BECCS.
Global mean warming reached 1°C above preindustrial for the first time. It is a signal from the climate system that time is running out if we are to be able to reduce emissions fast enough so as to hold warming below 2°C, and ultimately below 1.5°C by 2100.
A new study analyses the differences in impacts the world would face at 1.5°C and 2°C in a comprehensive and comparable way for the first time. It finds that the increases in impacts between 1.5°C and 2°C are large, significant and pronounced for regions with limited adaptive capacity and high exposure.
2°C limit is too warm for many vulnerable systems and regions, and a 1.5°C limit would be significantly safer. Antarctic ice shelf loss comes from underneath.