1.5: Possible Ambitious Required International Success

2 December 2015

Yesterday’s Joint Contact Group on the 2013-2015 review saw Saudi Arabia–supported by its shadows Oman and China, attempt to block clear conclusions from ADP and COP’s two years of excellent work on the long-term goal. Worse, those countries are trying to prevent progress towards a COP decision on strengthening the limit for acceptable warming, which has its foundations in the robust climate science contained in the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED).

The SED found that the previously accepted ‘guardrail’ opinion, that 2°C of warming is safe, is inadequate. Now we know that the line of defence must be set lower. Yesterday, many countries–including the members of the Climate Vulnerables Forum–echoed that concept in an impressive declaration, calling for a warming limit of 1.5°C.

2°C of warming would result in catastrophic impacts on sensitive global ecosystems. Arctic sea-ice will disappear, glaciers will melt, and ocean acidification will destroy coral reef ecosystems. In other words: disaster for the climate and disaster for our planet.

The good news is the SED concluded that keeping warming well below 2°C is still possible through deep emission cuts. These cuts can be achieved through full decarbonisation of energy systems, along with scaling-up of low-carbon energy technologies by approximately 90% by 2050. ECO expects that parties will want to demonstrate unambiguously–through a COP decision–that they take science seriously and that the Paris agreement will build on the basis of the outcome of the SED.

1.5: Possible Ambitious Required International Success

Support CAN

Help us build power in the climate movement by contributing a one-time or recurring donation that will go to supporting our global work as well as various activities and campaigns in communities in different regions.

Donate to CAN

Stay informed

Subscribe to receive monthly updates on the latest on the climate movement including the content from across the network, upcoming climate change events, news articles and opinion pieces on climate, straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter