Mitigation Scenarios and Pathways

 ©Henrike Doebert / Climate Analytics
©Henrike Doebert / Climate Analytics

We explore the greenhouse-gas emission reductions necessary to achieve long-term global climate goals, such as holding warming below 1.5 and 2°C warming relative to pre-industrial levels. Analysing emissions scenarios from energy-economic models and other sources with coupled carbon-cycle/climate models leads to globally “allowed” ranges of emissions for different greenhouse gases, air pollutants and sectors, as well as associated time- and pathway-dependent mitigation costs and technology portfolios.


A new Climate Analytics report, released by The Climate Institute today, looks at the implications of the 1.5°C warming limit in the Paris Agreement for Australia, and, in the light of the severe environmental impacts it faces, emphasises the urgency of ramping up climate action.  
Drilling oil in the Great Australian Bight could create the world’s next carbon bomb, according to a report released today by Climate Analytics. Commissioned by The Wilderness Society, the report’s release coincides with BP’s Annual General Meeting. Protests at BP’s Melbourne headquarters today are calling on BP to rethink their plans for the area to protect the pristine environment.  
A new paper in Nature Climate Change, co-authored by Dr. Michiel Schaeffer of Climate Analytics, assesses the differences between various carbon budget estimates from IPCC and other sources, and identifies the most appropriate carbon budget for holding warming below 2°C.  
Climate Analytics' Dr. Michiel Schaeffer and Dr. Joeri Rogelj (IIASA) contribute to Theme Day 1: State of Knowledge on Climate Change at Our Common Future conference July 7-10 in Paris. Their presentation provides key insights that link the theoretical concept of carbon budgets to a real world context.  


Accepted estimates of how much carbon we can still burn by the end of this century and keep temperature rise to below 2°C range from 590 to 2390 billion tons of carbon dioxide. The high end of this estimate does not take into account warming by non-CO2 emissions and was never intended to be used to address a real-world policy question. Consequently, this study finds that the most appropriate carbon budget estimate for keeping warming to below 2°C is in the range of 590-1240 billion tons of carbon dioxide.  
The emissions gap in 2020 is the difference between emission levels in 2020 consistent with meeting climate targets, and levels expected in that year if country pledges and commitments are met. As it becomes less and less likely that the emissions gap will be closed by 2020, the world will have to rely on more difficult, costlier and riskier means after 2020 of keeping global average temperature increase below 2°C. If the emissions gap is not closed, or significantly narrowed, by 2020, the door to many options limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C at the end of this century will be closed.  
This report shows that the estimated emissions gap in 2020 for a “likely” chance of staying below the 2°C target is large, but it is still technically possible to close this gap through concerted and rapid action.