The Climate Action Tracker outlined the ten most important short-term steps the world must take in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) is an independent scientific analysis produced by three research organizations — Climate Analytics, Ecofys, and NewClimate Institute — tracking global climate action and efforts towards the globally agreed target of restricting global warming to 2°C since 2009. Released alongside the United Nations climate change talks happening in Marrakech, CAT published a report entitled 10 Steps: The Ten Most Important Short-Term Steps To Limit Warming To 1.5°C, which does just as its name suggests it would. The report spells out ten steps that all key sectors — energy generation, road transport, buildings, industry, forestry and land use, and commercial agriculture — must immediately begin enacting if we are to cut emissions.
Scientists with CAT also warned that if one sector was to do less than the others — particularly the energy, industry, and transport sectors — they would leave behind a high-emissions legacy for several decades. They also point out that lack of action could result in a failure to set in motion the wider-system changes necessary to achieve the required long-term transformation.
The ten steps are as follows:
- Electricity: sustain the growth rate of renewables and other zero and low carbon power until 2025 to reach 100% by 2050
- Coal: no new coal power plants, reduce emissions from coal by at least 30% by 2025
- Road transport: last fossil fuel car sold before 2035
- Aviation and shipping: develop and get agreement on a 1.5°C compatible vision
- New buildings: all new buildings fossil-free and near zero energy by 2020
- Building renovation: increase rates from <1% in 2015 to 5% by 2020
- Industry: all new installations in emissions-intensive sectors are low-carbon after 2020; maximize material efficiency
- Reduce emissions from forestry and other land use to 95% below 2010 levels by 2030, stop net deforestation by the 2020s
- Commercial agriculture: keep emissions at or below current levels, establish and disseminate regional best practice, ramp up research
- CO2 removal: begin research and planning for negative emissions
“Achieving these ten steps would put the world on a pathway to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C,” said Professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute. “For all of them, we show signs that a transition of this magnitude is possible: in many cases it’s already happening.”
First and foremost is the electricity sector, which currently accounts for one-quarter of global emissions, and according to CAT, “needs to undertake the fastest transformation, and must be fully decarbonised by 2050.”
“Renewables are the lowest carbon option in the electricity sector, and show the most promise,” said Yvonne Deng of Ecofys. “If renewables were to continue to grow at today’s rate through to 2025, it would set this sector on a path to full decarbonisation— and the power system and electricity markets need to get ready for this transformation.”
The full report is available to read (PDF), for anyone wanting to dig further into each of the ten steps laid out by CAT.
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