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Keeping warming within the 2 °C limit after Copenhagen

Listed author(s):
  • 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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301-4215(10)00059-5
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Ross Garnaut & Stephen Howes & Frank Jotzo & Peter Sheehan, 2008. "Emissions in the Platinum Age: the implications of rapid development for climate-change mitigation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 377-401, Summer.
  2. Ribeiro, Suzana K & Kobayashi, Shigeki & Beuthe, Michel & Gasca, Jorge & Greene, David & Lee, David S. & Muromachi, Yasunori & Newton, Peter J. & Plotkin, Steven & Sperling, Daniel & Wit, Ron & Zhou, , 2007. "Transportation and its Infrastructure," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt98m5t1rv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  3. John P. Weyant, Francisco C. de la Chesnaye, and Geoff J. Blanford, 2006. "Overview of EMF-21: Multigas Mitigation and Climate Policy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-32.
  4. Macintosh, Andrew & Wallace, Lailey, 2009. "International aviation emissions to 2025: Can emissions be stabilised without restricting demand?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 264-273, January.
  5. Emma Paulsson, 2009. "A review of the CDM literature: from fine-tuning to critical scrutiny?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 63-80, February.
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