Bring Back Full Decarbonisation by 2050

21 October 2015

There’s one particularly valuable piece of mitigation text that got lost in the co-chairs’ pressure cleaning of the text. Namely, the text that called for full decarbonisation by 2050.

ECO urges Parties to bring it back into the first paragraph of Article 3.


Because the Paris agreement needs to be a phase-out agreement, rather than another emissions management agreement.

In light of the latest IPCC findings and the carbon budget it outlines, fossil carbon emissions must simply be phased out. And that needs to happen fast, by mid-century at the latest, if we are to have a good chance of staying below 2°C, not to mention 1.5°C.

Those who believe we have more time for the phase out, even until the end of the century, are betting on  hypothetical and highly problematic ”negative emissions”.

That’s not a plan. That’s just reckless gambling with our future.

A goal of full decarbonisation by 2050 would reflect the true urgency of the situation. It would make it increasingly difficult for businesses to justify investing in high-carbon emitting infrastructure, because the energy systems we’ll need to have in place by 2050 are being built now.

On the other hand, a long-term goal of decarbonisation by end of the century would have the opposite effect. It would create the dangerous illusion of having all the time in the world to change.

The solutions are already here. The renewable energy revolution has already started. What the world needs from Paris is a clear signal that the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end and that the direction is now towards a world powered by renewable energy for all.

ECO therefore urges Parties to make this message clear in the draft agreement and is happy to help with inspirational text.

Your task, dear delegates, is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.

Bring Back Full Decarbonisation by 2050

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