Latest UN Report Confirms Paris Target Not Achievable

Wednesday 17th October 2018

A report released last week by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded the earth is due to overshoot its Paris target and heat up by 3C by the end of the century.

The Paris agreement, in which more than 180 countries agreed to keep global warming “well below” 2c, now looks unachievable. The report was commissioned by the Paris signatories to help them understand the vastly different implications of 1.5c of warming – the target they agreed to move towards – and the 2c they committed to stay below.

The report has found that a 2c rise is predicted to be far more dangerous than a 1.5c rise, and would see coral reefs disappear, expose 420m people to heatwaves and an additional 10m people to flooding.

The report found that limiting global warming to 1.5c would require “rapid and far-reaching changes" to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. It would mean removing hundreds of billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere through methods such as reforestation or direct air carbon capture.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency said global emissions were likely to keep growing in 2018 because of increasing consumption of coal, oil & natural gas. Clair Perry, UK Energy Minister said the conclusions were “stark & sober”.

Whilst there are a lot of unknowns when trying to appeal to the goodwill of 180 different nations, one conclusion can be drawn out of this report. Global energy consumption is likely to continue to increase and governments will continue to tax usage in order to fund their decarbonisation plans. Non-commodity costs already account for over 50% of the unit price of electricity in the UK & this is set to rise higher with planned initiatives such as the SECR (Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting) initiative. Companies need to play their part & support this global initiative, whilst taking unnecessary costs out of their businesses.

If you would like to stay ahead of the game & make significant carbon reductions within your organisation, please get in touch to discuss how we can assist.

Carl Revens, Managing Director of E2 Services Ltd