COP21 in Paris Will Block all 2C Scenarios
The new UNFCCC report on pledges (INDCs) for the Paris Climate conference, gives enough information that we can make the following calculation:
- Every 2°C scenario must limit CO2 emissions to 1000 Gt after 2011.
- At best, under the INDCs, 722.8 Gt CO2 will be emitted by 2030, so this leaves 276 Gt to go.
- The rate of CO2 emissions will then be at least 39.8 Gt per year.
- If that rate holds, it leaves only 7 years until we break all 2C scenarios.
- If we ramp emissions down to zero in 14 years, we would just make the limit.
But this is completely impossible. That would be a 7% cut the first year after 2030 and a 14% cut after 7 years when we were half way down to zero. Nothing like this has ever been seen, and for the next 15 years the Paris plan is to continue increasing emissions.
That means China will continue building new coal power plants to replace old ones, the developing countries will continue to expand their fleets of coal plants, the number of gasoline-powered cars will increase, and so on. There is no way countries are going to throw all of those away in the next 14 years after 2030, and stop using fossil fuel. This really would wreck the world economy.
So COP15 in Paris spells the end of any chance of following a 2C scenario, which would have only given us a 66% chance of holding the temperature to 2C anyway.