Mitigation Scenarios and Pathways

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

Carbon and emission budgets

To stabilise warming, CO2 emissions ultimately have to be reduced to zero. The faster this zero point is achieved, the lower the level at which warming stabilises. We explore the total cumulative emissions (budgets) consistent with long-term global climate goals, such as holding warming below 1.5 and 2°C warming relative to pre-industrial levels


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.  


This technical note looks at the estimates of the remaining warming that have been used in the IPCC AR5 and in recent studies, and evaluates the consequences for carbon budget estimates to limit warming to 1.5°C.  
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.  


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