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To Prevent Disaster CO2 Emissions Must be Nil by 2070
Feb 17, 2015

A recently published report os the United Nationals Environment Programme (UNEP) says, the world must cut CO2 emissions to zero by 2070 at the latest to keep global warming below dangerous levels and prevent a global catastrophe.  

Key Features of the Report

By 2100, all Greenhouse gas emissions including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as CO2 must fall to zero, or the world will face what Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists have described as severe, widespread and irreversible effects from climate change. 

  • Since emissions surged in the late 19th century, some 1,900 Gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 and 1,000 Gt of other greenhouse gases have already been emitted, leaving less than 1,000 Gt of CO2 left to emit before locking the planet in to dangerous temperature rises of more than 20C above pre-industrial levels. 

  • All scenarios in the UNEP report now require some degree of negative CO2 emissions in the second half of the century, through technologies such as carbon capture and storage or, possibly, controversial, planetary wide engineering of the climate known as geo-engineering. UNEP is extremely interested in the subject and is planning a report in the months ahead. 

  • This report underscores the reality that at some point in the second half of the century, we need to have achieved climate neutrality—or as some term it zero net or net zero—in terms of overall global emissions. 

  • A key theme in the emissions gap study is the cost-effectiveness of taking early action and the dangers of not doing so.

  • The report is based on the idea that the planet has a finite carbon budget.

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