Sceince of a 1.5 degree C temperature limit


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In the Paris Agreement on climate change from December 2015, countries agreed to holding “…the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” The IPCC has been commissioned to prepare a special report on 1.5°C to be published in 2018. The IPCC report will cover mitigation pathways, impacts and link with sustainable development and poverty. With the increased focus in the political and scientific community on 1.5°C pathways following the Paris Agreement, more literature is becoming available that details the impacts of, and mitigation pathways for, limiting the global temperature rise to such temperature levels. However, there are still significant gaps in the information.
Generally, impacts on natural and human systems from climate change become more severe as temperatures increase, which is the basis for the ambition to limit temperature increases. Available mitigation pathways suggest very rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and options which remove carbon from the atmosphere such as reforestation or bio-CCS (BECCS) will be needed to reach 1.5°C. There are still significant uncertainties regarding the potential, costs and impacts of these carbon dioxide removal (CDR) options. To help inform the WWF position on the 1.5°C target, this report assesses:
• the available evidence on the avoided impacts in going from a 2°C to 1.5°C global temperature limit • the options for adaptation • the mitigation and removal options needed, and the trade-offs that could be made between different options to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Using the available evidence, we make recommendations for WWF’s position on issues connected with the ambition to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

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