IPCC Agrees to Study 1.5°C Limit on Long-Term Global Warming
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed that it will produce a special report on the impacts of global warming averaging 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as requested by delegates to last year’s United Nations climate summit in Paris.
The UN language in the report outline specifies a “special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.”
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The outline touches on the likelihood that global greenhouse gas emissions will overshoot the 1.5°C threshold, the constraints and uncertainties surrounding greenhouse gas emissions, the mitigation and development pathways consistent with 1.5 or 2.0°C average global warming, the “technological, environmental, institutional, and socio-economic opportunities and challenges related to 1.5°C pathways,” and the “avoided impacts and reduced risks” in a 1.5°C pathway compared to 2.0°.
Agreement on the outline “means the IPCC can start work on a scientific assessment for policy-makers of what warming of 1.5ºC would mean and how we could get there,” said IPCC Vice-Chair Thelma Krug, chair of the scientific steering committee for the scoping meeting that drafted the outline.
The report is due to be published in 2018.