Graphs – Possibilities for the Global Climate Deal

This page shows various climate results if the proposals currently in the public domain were fully implemented. Details of our simulation’s assumptions and methods are available in the links to the right.

Graphs-Possibilities for a Global Climate Deal

Starting with the August 2010 release, the format of the Scoreboard graphs have been updated to provide more alternatives for emissions trajectories after the last target year specified by countries or blocs. The “Confirmed Proposals” and “Potential Proposals” designations indicate scenarios where emissions are held constant if they were falling during the approach to the target year and allowed to grow at the BAU rate if they were growing prior to the target year. The “resume BAU” designation assumes that BAU growth rates will resume after the target year, and the “continue drop” designation assumes emissions will continue to decrease at the rate at which emissions were falling in the approach to the target year. The Scoreboard widget reflects the information in the “Confirmed Proposals” scenario.

We collected emissions reductions proposals in the public domain April 19, 2013 (called “Confirmed” and “Potential” proposals in the graph) – and found that even if these were fully implemented, they would be far from sufficient to meet the goal of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels at or below 350 ppm, reaching instead between 650-885 ppm CO2 and 800-1220 CO2e by 2100. These proposals would not be sufficient to limit warming to 2°C over pre-industrial temperatures, creating instead approximately 3.3-4.5°C of temperature increase by 2100.

“Confirmed” proposals reduce the gap between “Business As Usual” (BAU) and the trajectory required to limit global average temperature to 2°C in 2100 by less than 50%.

If the UNFCCC process is to achieve widely accepted climate goals – such as stabilizing CO2 levels between 350-450 ppm and limiting temperature increase to less than 2°C over pre-industrial – then, in the coming months, emissions reduction proposals must become significantly more ambitious.

We used C-ROADS to create another line — the “low emissions path” for reference and comparison.

Note that all these scenarios show the mid-point of a range of possible futures, given uncertainties in the system such as the rate at which plants, soils, and oceans uptake carbon dioxide, and the sensitivity of the climate to increases in greenhouse gases.