How and why we distilled these targets
The IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6) provides crucial information on how to tackle climate change, in particular identifying pathways that limit warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot. However, many of the pathways in the AR6 database are not fully Paris Agreement compatible in that they do not bring emissions to net zero in the second half of this century. Many also rely on unsustainable levels of carbon dioxide removal and/or do not factor in recent progress, such as the declining cost of renewables.
In this briefing, we extract 24 pathways from the IPCC AR6 database that can guide the global energy transition to net zero in a sustainable way. These Paris-compatible pathways show what’s needed to limit warming to 1.5°C if we don’t bet on likely unfeasible levels of future carbon dioxide removal. From these we set robust 1.5°C-aligned 2030 targets, including for renewable rollout and fossil fuel decline.
Our five key 2030 global targets aligned to 1.5°C
1. Install at least 1.5 TW of new wind and solar capacity per year by 2030 – that’s a five-fold increase from 2022 levels of 0.3 TW/yr.
Total wind and solar capacity should reach around 10 TW by the end of the decade, five times the 2 TW of capacity in 2022. This target is achievable if the recent acceleration in capacity additions is maintained. It should be seen as a floor – if electricity demand grows as quickly as in the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions scenario, then solar and wind installations would need to be closer to 2 TW/yr by 2030.
2. Set a global renewables target of at least 70% of electricity generation by 2030, more than doubling today’s share of around 30%.
3. Cut global fossil fuel production by 6% each year from 2022 onwards to reduce fossil fuel use by around 40% over the decade.
4. Cut global GHG emissions in half (by 48%) by 2030 compared to 2019.
This is faster than the 43% reduction highlighted by the IPCC and is necessary to significantly reduce dependence on carbon dioxide removal. This means reducing emissions by 8% per year (2021-2030).
5. Cut methane emissions in the energy sector by 66% by 2030.
Methane emissions in the energy sector need to fall around twice as fast as total methane emissions, which drop by 34% over the decade. The 30% cut in the Global Methane Pledge is not aligned with 1.5°C pathways.
*This publication was updated on 22/08/23 (p. 20: 2.7 GtCO2/yr of BECCS by 2050 was corrected to 3.6 Gt CO2/y)
This publication was updated on 29/08/23 (graphs adjusted to acknowledge that they portray the full ensemble range)
Tripling renewables by 2030: interpreting the global goal at the regional level
At COP28, governments agreed to triple global renewable capacity by 2030. This report breaks down what a 1.5ºC-aligned renewables rollout would look like at the regional level and calculate the associated investment needs.
Submission to the Australian Treasury consultation on the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax
As the gas industry in Australia has grown exponentially, the profit taxes it pays to the government have proportionally plummeted, presenting an opportunity to change this regime. Here, we respond to the Australian Government Treasury consultation on the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) – anti-avoidance provisions and clarifying treatment of ‘exploration’ and Mining, Quarrying or Prospecting Rights.
Kipppunkte und kaskadische Kippdynamiken im Klimasystem
Dieser im Auftrag des deutschen Umweltbundesamtes erstellte Bericht befasst sich mit Kippelementen - sensible Komponenten des Erdsystems, die bei Überschreiten kritischer Schwellenwerte (Kipppunkte) irreversiblen Veränderungen ausgesetzt werden können. Er unterstreicht, dass selbstverstärkende Mechanismen zwischen diesen Elementen zu schnellen, irreversiblen Veränderungen führen können.
Limited reversal of regional climate signals in overshoot scenarios
This peer-reviewed paper analyses what happens in an 'overshoot scenario' - where temperature rise peaks just above 1.5°C, but then return below it by the end of the century. It concludes that despite a drop in warming, regional climate changes may only be partially reversed in the decades after peak warming, demonstrating the value of limiting peak temperatures to as low as possible.
COP28 initiatives will only reduce emissions if followed through
Few of the sectoral initiatives announced during COP28 will meaningfully contribute to closing the emissions gap. Many of them lack either the ambition, clarity, coverage or accountability needed to really make a difference.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase-out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase-out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase-out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
No change to warming as fossil fuel endgame brings focus onto false solutions
The CAT's annual warming estimate has risen by 0.1˚C to 2.5˚C. The estimate is largely influenced by weak existing targets rather than shifts triggered by updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
State of Climate Action 2023
This report finds that global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator – except electric vehicle sales – lagging behind the pace and scale needed to address the climate crisis.