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Keeping warming within the 2 °C limit after Copenhagen

  • Macintosh, Andrew

The object of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 was to reach an agreement on a new international legal architecture for addressing anthropogenic climate change post-2012. It failed in this endeavour, producing a political agreement in the form of the Copenhagen Accord. The Accord sets an ambitious goal of holding the increase in the global average surface temperature to below 2 °C. This paper describes 45 CO2-only mitigation scenarios that provide an indication of what would need to be done to stay within the 2 °C limit if the international climate negotiations stay on their current path. The results suggest that if developed countries adopt a combined target for 2020 of =5%/yr, and possibly >=10%/yr, post-2030 (after a decade transitional period) in order to keep warming to 2 °C. If aggressive abatement commitments for 2020 are not forthcoming from all the major emitting countries, the likelihood of warming being kept within the 2 °C limit is diminutive.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 2964-2975

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:6:p:2964-2975
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