New York Times’ Interactive Graphic Shares Climate Scoreboard Story: We’ve Made Progress, Have Further to Go

Readers of the 23 November 2015 New York Times interactive graphic – “The Climate Change Pledges Are In. Will They Fix Anything?” – may appreciate some resources that support the data in the story:

FAQs on the New York Times interactive graphic

Q: Why, in the section from the NY Times graphic shown below on China, does the line on the graph not peak?  The text says that carbon dioxide emissions will peak by 2030.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 1.57.42 PM

A: China’s official INDC includes: “To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030.” In the modeled scenario, carbon dioxide emissions peak but the other greenhouse gases (primarily methane, but also N2O and the f-gasses) continue growing over time, increasing total CO2 equivalent emissions in this graph from below 20 GT/year up over 20 GT/year from 2030 to 2100.

Q: Is the expectation that CO2 peaks but does not decline post 2030? (from @BradJohnson)

A: The pledge does not include decline but we have explored that possibility in the Climate Scoreboard — check out the scenario called Ratchet 2.