Global climate and energy scenarios

The UNFCCC second periodic review synthesis report concluded in autumn 2022 concerning 1.5 pathways:

It is still possible to achieve the long-term global goal with immediate and sustained emission reductions: pathways to limiting warming to 1.5 °C require emissions to peak in 2025 and be roughly halved by 2030 and at net zero by around 2050. Overshooting the 1.5 °C limit will mean having to rely on technology to bring warming back below the limit. Key opportunities to reduce emissions include targeting methane emissions and capitalizing on the falling cost of renewable energy and on carbon markets;

The window of opportunity to achieve climate-resilient development is rapidly closing: ambitious mitigation and transformative adaptation must be accompanied by efforts to address structural inequalities, marginalization and multidimensional poverty. Climate-resilient development requires inclusive, multi-sectoral and forward-thinking planning, alongside a significant injection of resources;

The world is not on track to achieve the long-term global goal: not enough has been done to reduce emissions. The world is on a pathway to global warming of 1.5 °C in 2021–2040 and 2 °C around 2050. A significant gap remains between pledged emission reductions and the reductions required to meet the long-term global goal. The emissions gap must be urgently bridged if achieving net zero emissions and the long-term global goal is to remain possible;

Despite some progress on mitigation and adaptation, more efforts are needed: parties are taking clear steps to reduce emissions. An increase in national climate laws, strategies and policies has led to significant avoided emissions. Adaptation action is widespread but remains incremental, with little evidence of reduced climate risk resulting from it. Some human and natural systems may be encountering, and even surpassing, their adaptation limits;

Equity is key to achieving the long-term global goal: historical emissions are unequal. The impacts and risks associated with warming are also unevenly distributed. Parties have differing responsibilities and capacities to contribute to achieving the long-term global goal, but many are constrained by structural inequalities. Equitable action therefore requires fair consideration of the remaining carbon budget, inclusive decision-making and a just transition;

Key enablers of climate action are not aligned with the urgency of a rapid and equitable low-carbon transition: climate finance is growing but continues to fall short of needs and commitments. The financial system overall is poorly aligned with the Paris Agreement goals, with investment in fossil fuels still outweighing climate investment. Capacity to respond to climate change remains most lacking where risk is highest. Data and methodological gaps inhibit measurement and reporting of emission reductions. Low-carbon technologies are feasible but there are economic and financial barriers to their dissemination;

Knowledge, technology and resources are needed to transform global systems in line with low-emission pathways and climate-resilient development: the financial system has sufficient capital to decarbonize economies and enhance climate resilience towards meeting the long-term global goal. Support provided by developed to developing countries can help to de-risk investment and enable technology transfer. Continued capacity-building will enable more robust and transparent reporting on GHG emission reductions and adaptation efforts. Improved climate services will help to reduce climate impacts on lives and livelihoods.

Source and further reading from AirClim publications: