IPCC: Reaching the Two Degrees Celsius Climate Goal Requires Substantial Efforts in View of Accelerating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new report by Working Group III contributing to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that emissions have risen to unprecedented levels, growing more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in the three previous decades. Hence reaching the goal of limiting the global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, requires major institutional and technological changes, the report concludes.

“Scenarios show that to have a likely chance of limiting the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius, means lowering global greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70 percent compared with 2010 by mid-century, and to near-zero by the end of this century. Ambitious mitigation may even require removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere”, the IPCC says.

Regarding the costs, IPCC points out that: “Estimates of the economic costs of mitigation vary widely. In business-as-usual scenarios, consumption grows by 1.6 to 3 percent per year. Ambitious mitigation would reduce this growth by around 0.06 percentage points a year. However, the underlying estimates do not take into account economic benefits of reduced climate change.”

The report, entitled Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, is the third of three Working Group reports, which, along with a Synthesis Report due in October 2014, constitute the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on climate change. The Working Group III report consists of the Summary for Policymakers released yesterday, a more detailed Technical Summary, the underlying 16 chapters, and three annexes.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. Working Group III, which assesses options for the mitigation of climate change, is co-chaired by Ottmar Edenhofer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Ramón Pichs-Madruga, Centre for World Economy Studies, and Youba Sokona, South Centre. The Technical Support Unit of Working Group III is hosted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and funded by the government of Germany.

Regarding the recent rise in greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, please see the first blog post below.

Source: IPCC

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