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1.5°C - key facts

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.  

Ratification Tracker

The Paris Agreement has a double threshold of 55 countries and 55% of global emissions that must both be met before it enters into force and becomes legally binding. It opened for signature on 22 April 2016. Climate Analytics tracks the progress of ratification on this page.  

The 1.5°C temperature limit in the Paris Agreement and 2016 temperature records

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.  

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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.  
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.