Limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C requires major transformations that need to begin immediately. We provide insights on the ten most important steps that need to be taken in specific sectors in the short term — to 2020 and 2025 — if the Paris Agreement temperature goal is to be met.
We used modelled scenarios to provide guidance on what needs to happen in each sector. The stringency of the 1.5°C limit significantly constrains the levels of freedom to spread emission reductions across sectors, countries and over time.
As a result of the limited carbon budget, combined with the inertia of energy, transport, industry technologies and systems, and the difficulty of reducing emissions in some sectors, global energy models find only limited pathways.
If a sector does less, in particular the energy, industry and transport sectors, it would leave a high-emissions legacy for several decades and would mean a failure to set in motion the system changes needed to achieve the required long-term transformation.
Efforts in all of these sectors that begin by 2020, and accelerate by 2025, will be needed to reach zero carbon dioxide emissions by mid-century, and zero greenhouse gas emissions overall roughly in the 2060s.
For all ten elements we show there are signs that the transition of this magnitude is possible: in some specific cases it’s already happening. Achieving these ten steps in the period to 2020 and 2025 would put the world on a pathway to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
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.