The rise in global temperatures above two degrees is something that can cause irreversible changes throughout our planet. The scientific community has created various models that can predict what the consequences will be if global temperatures rise above two degrees. The results obtained encourage scientists about the seriousness of the situation in which we find ourselves.
However, today efforts to limit global warming to below two degrees by before 2100 leave much to be desired. This is the main objective of the Paris Agreement, but they are not its expected results if the countries were to fulfill it.
Temperatures keep rising
As the years go by, CO2 concentrations exceed the limits established as "safe" for the scientific community. Let's remember that CO2 has a power to trap heat strong enough to be able to increase the temperatures of all corners of the planet. With an increase in temperatures, the stability and ecological balance of all the systems that make up the Earth are altered and they could undergo irreversible changes.
The Paris Agreement has set the main objective of avoiding a two degree increase in average temperatures on the planet. However, even if it was fulfilled, thermometers would rise 2,7 degrees if new commitments or stronger political actions were not reached.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned in an annual report of technological perspectives that with the emission policies that exist today and with those that are announced, carbon dioxide emissions (which are the main responsible for climate change ) will peak in the middle of the century and they will be 16% above those issued in 2014 by 2060. These high concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere would cause a 2,7 degree increase in global temperature by the end of the century, which would trigger quite a large, uncontrollable and irreversible climatic instability.
The IEA sees "technically feasible" limit that rise in temperature to 1,75 degrees, the midpoint of the range between 1,5 and 2 degrees set by the international community in the Paris Agreement of December 2015, and from which the US President, Donald Trump, has announced that his country is going to drop.
There are many experts who have studied climate change and have analyzed the current situation who affirm that the gap to stop climate change and the efforts that are currently being made to do so is very large. That is, even with the Paris Agreement in force and all countries (including the US in a hypothetical case) meeting its objectives would be insufficient to avoid an increase of more than two degrees. In addition, experts affirm that it is very necessary to increase the speed with which actions against climate change are carried out, since at the rate at which current policies are being carried out, results would not be achieved in time.
Emissions are getting higher
Greenhouse gas emissions are due to the use and burning of fossil fuels. Therefore, it is necessary to develop clean and renewable technologies that help reduce these emissions. The IEA assures that if there is a rapid deployment of renewable and clean technologies, a “neutral” scenario in CO2 emissions could be contemplated by 2060. However, make no mistake. No country is going to develop so quickly in renewables or clean technology that it can stop climate change in time.
Energy efficiency measures would contribute with 38% to the reduction of the necessary CO2 emissions and renewable energies with 30%. This makes the development of technologies that capture and store carbon necessary if we want to contain climate change.
Finally, if we want to avoid a rise in average temperatures above two degrees, CO2 emissions by 2060 should be around 40% lower than today.