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 globally by 75% instead of 85% in the BAU Scenario and the GDP growth rate would remain positive over the entire simulation period. Europe can also expect a positive impact on its economy, but less intense owing to the assumed changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns. Initially, there would be stronger growth via increased investments, in order to achieve the 1.5°C target. However, the economic stimulus slows later (amounting to overall 23% instead of 31% in the BAU Scenario). Nevertheless, employment would actually be higher in the meetPASS Scenario than in the BAU, thanks partly to a reduction of working hours (by 20% over the period in EU and industrialised countries).
In addition to a number of other measures, this would above all require an increase in CO2 prices to 200-240 Euro per tonne. We are in the process of analysing these initial results in detail and will keep you updated on this page.