The evolution of climate change depends on the development of our society, demographics and economics over the next decades. Limiting global warming to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, or preferably to 1.5°C as it is established in the Paris Agreement, would only be possible if we stop emitting greenhouse gases as soon as possible. On the current trajectories, the world is set to warm by around 2.5°C by 2100, and continue upwards thereafter.
The 4C Carbon Outlook, released in November 2021, is warning that stronger climate policies are needed to trigger the necessary short-term action to reduce CO2 emissions sufficiently in the coming decade to keep the option for 1.5°C alive.
The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) is the yearly summit that brings together world leaders, scientists and civil society to discuss greenhouse gas emissions and the measures that have been taken or need to be taken to address climate change.
The conference is crucial for negotiating action to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aiming at 1.5 degrees, in line with the Paris Agreement, which was first adopted during COP21 in 2015.
COP26 is the 26th COP summit, taking place in Glasgow, UK between 31 October and 12 November 2021.
The carbon budget is a powerful concept developed in the last decade to assess how much additional carbon dioxide (CO2) humans can emit before a temperature target will be reached with a given probability. It provides critical knowledge to policymakers in order to prepare appropriate mitigation plans.
Better understanding the relationship between the temperature increase and cumulative CO2 emissions is crucial in determining how the global mean temperature will change after emissions reach zero.