The Road to Decarbonization – Economic News, Analysis, and Discussion

First appeared at Policy Center for the New South, September 8, 2021

The report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released at the beginning of August, left no room for doubt. According to its estimates, it will be necessary to accelerate the pace of global containment of carbon emissions if the expected increases in global average temperatures are to be kept below 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius, . Even if emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced over the next few decades, global warming will continue for at least another century.

To give an idea of ​​what’s at stake, look at the numbers in a paper by Jean Pisani-Ferry at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Starting from pre-pandemic emission levels (emissions declined during lockdowns, but have rebounded), the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere compatible with limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius would be achieved in less than 25 years. The period shortens to seven years in case the limit is to be reduced to 1.5 degrees.

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