Global climate targets

Countries committing explicitly to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

When adopting the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement governments committed to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. The Paris Agreement thus went beyond what was agreed in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord which called to “hold the increase in global temperature below 2°C” while also agreeing to consider (by 2015) strengthening the long-term goal to 1.5°C) by adding “well below” to the 2°C target and connecting this well below 2°C target with the 1.5°C target. The Paris Agreement however did lead to some ambiguity as some decision-makers interpreted the agreement as offering an option to choose between 1.5°C or (well below) 2°C as the long-term goal that frames their climate action, while many others indicated that the Paris Agreement's long-term goal should be seen as complimentary, allowing temperature rise to (slightly) overshoot 1.5° but arriving at 1.5°C by 2100. This view has now been confirmed by the outcomes of COP27 (November 2022), the G20 Leaders Summit in Bali (Indonesia) and the G7 Leaders Summit in Schloss Elmau (Germany), all committing explicitly to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Source and further reading from AirClim publications: