Adam Tooze: Should the World Adjust Its Climate Targets?
Global warming is on pace to pass 1.5 degrees Celsius. Should policymakers be focused on adaptation?
The world unanimously pledged in the 2015 Paris Agreement to do what was necessary to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, released last week, has now thrown that target into doubt. “Projected [carbon dioxide] emissions from existing fossil fuel infrastructure without additional abatement would exceed the remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C (50%) (high confidence),” the report summary reads. In other words: Even if the world stops building new fossil fuel projects, it is still on pace to break the 1.5-degree barrier—with all the catastrophic consequences that entails.
Cameron Abadi is a deputy editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @CameronAbadi
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