This report provides key carbon budget benchmarks for the energy and industry sectors for Queensland that are consistent with the state playing its role in national and global efforts to limit global mean warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial.
This report provides key carbon budget benchmarks for the energy and industry sectors for Queensland that are consistent with the state playing its role in national and global efforts to limit global mean warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial. The 1.5°C warming limit in the Paris Agreement is particularly important as it provides the best chance of survival for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), a critical natural and economic asset for Queensland and World Heritage site.
Current national commitments under the Paris Agreement – Nationally determined contributions (NDC) - are projected to result in a global mean warming of 2.9°C above pre-industrial by 2100. Current national policies when aggregated globally do not match the present inadequate level of NDC commitments, and are projected to result in median warming of 3.2°C above pre-industrial by 2100.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Special Report on 1.5°C has established a rapidly escalating risk for coral reefs with warming with a 70-90% loss at 1.5°C warming, and virtually complete losses of more than 99% by 2°C global mean warming above pre-industrial. With global average warming now at around 1°C above pre-industrial, increasingly frequent major coral bleaching events are occurring.
The projected higher frequency of marine heatwaves and high intensity tropical cyclones as well as ocean acidification will lead to rapidly escalating damages to coral reefs with every increment of global mean warming.
Limiting warming to 1.5°C, and ultimately below, will substantially reduce the exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to extreme marine heatwaves, including those related to extreme El Nino events, more frequent intense tropical cyclones and accelerating sea level rise. The reductions in CO2 emissions required to limit warming to this level, will lead to ocean acidification peaking and declining. The reduction in exposure to the drivers of coral reef mortality and loss under a 1.5°C compatible pathway is substantial and highly significant, and a significant share of coral reef cover could be saved, even though substantial risks remain for the reef even with a peak warming of 1.5°C. Exceeding 1.5°C would virtually guarantee the extinction of most of the Great Barrier Reef based on present scientific knowledge, even if warming were limited to 2°C.
The carbon budget for Queensland estimated in this report focuses on what the state’s domestic fossil (energy and industry) CO2 emission limits need to be, in order to be compatible with Australia's national emissions contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. To estimate this budget, we make use of state-of-the-art analysis of technically and economically feasible and plausible emissions pathways taking into account sustainability considerations (for example limits to the use of negative emissions technologies) and economic considerations (we aim to minimise costs). The 1.5°C pathways require global fossil (energy and industry) CO2 emissions to peak in 2020, reduce by 45% by 2030 compared to 2010, and reach net zero CO2 emissions around 2060, with a global phase out of coal in the power sector by 2040 globally (2030 in OECD countries). It is generally understood that developed countries will need to reach net zero CO2 emissions earlier than many developing countries.
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.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.
Railway development: lessons for the EU
This paper analyses how EU railway policy for a low-carbon future can be enhanced, drawing insights from Japan and Switzerland.
Ramping up energy storage: lessons for the EU
This paper explores how the EU can enhance its policy for a low-carbon future by learning from successful energy storage approaches in California, South Korea, and Australia.