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Carbon emissions reductions way behind schedule

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A PWC study this month calculates that the global carbon intensity improvement required to meet a 2°C warming target has now risen to 5.1% a year, from now to 2050.

The world has not achieved that rate of decarbonisation once since World War 2, yet it needs to be achieved for the next 39 consecutive years on a best efforts basis to hit the 2°C warming limit. This is clearly highly improbable, and is part of a wall of recent disconcerting research that suggests global society had better also start focussing on adaptation.

With that daunting introduction, this month we think it is probably worth re-capping on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emission scenarios, and how we are currently tracking. The table below shows the various IPCC scenarios, each one a projection for the future path of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the predicted temperature and sea level rise associated with it.

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