What’s the one big takeaway?
“Scientists might want to write in capital letters, ‘ACT NOW IDIOTS’, but they need to say that with facts and numbers,” said Kaisa Kosonen, from Greenpeace, who was an observer at the negotiations. “And they have.”
The researchers have used these facts and numbers to paint a picture of the world with a dangerous fever, caused by humans. We used to think if we could keep warming below 2 degrees this century then the changes we would experience would be manageable.
Not any more. This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet’s liveability. And the 1.5C temperature “guard rail” could be exceeded in just 12 years in 2030.
We can stay below it but it will require urgent, large-scale changes from governments and individuals, plus we will have to invest a massive pile of cash every year, around 2.5% of global GDP, for two decades.
Even then, we will still need machines, trees and plants to capture carbon from the air that we can then store deep underground. Forever!
Five steps to 1.5
- Global emissions of CO2 need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030.
- Renewables are estimated to provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050.
- Coal is expected to reduce to close to zero.
- Up to 7 million sq km of land will be needed for energy crops (a bit less than the size of Australia).
- Global net zero emissions by 2050.