The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the climate science body of the United Nations, published a report in autumn 2018, just before the climate change conference in Katowice. It indicates that in order to limit global warming to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, humanity may only emit up to an additional 6-700 Gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 – and even then, the probability of achieving this target is only 50%. (https://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf).
The first results of our project show: without additional measures, total emissions would increase to double the reasonably safe 6-700 GT by 2050, or about 1300 GT. While global economic output will almost double in this period (+85%), emissions will increase by a third.
In order to reach the target of only 6-700 Gt in total, emissions per capita would have to decrease significantly – to about one tonne per capita of the world’s population in 2050. That is a reduction to about one fifth – by almost 80%. Europeans (EU) are currently emitting 8 tonnes per capita. Here, the required reduction to one tonne is therefore even greater.
The good news according to SERI and GWS however is that such a reduction is possible without economic collapse. The economy would grow even faster (globally by 100% instead of “only” 85%). And in Europe the economically stimulating effects would be even stronger. Instead of the expected 31% increase in the European gross domestic product (which means less than 1% annually on average) without a stronger climate policy, 45% would be possible, which corresponds to an increase in growth of almost 50%.
In addition to a number of other measures, this would above all require an increase in CO2 prices to $225-265 per tonne. We are in the process of analysing these initial results in detail and will keep you updated on this page.