Climate Change

CSE projections show world is on a temperature path of more than 3 degrees

With the US and EU misappropriating more than their fair share of carbon budgets, Asia and Africa will have very little space for growth after 2030, says Delhi-based non-profit

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 30 October 2015

Commenting on the synthesis report released by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has analysed the climate action plans submitted by countries so far, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has said that aggregate climate contribution is insufficient to keep the world safe. 

While Christina Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, has called the submissions a "significant achievement" and an "unprecedented engagement" by all countries, CSE's analysis of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) shows that developed countries are doing very little. These countries will misappropriate more carbon budget by 2030 and beyond, says the Delhi-based non-profit.

"INDCs are reducing the rate of growth of emissions marginally, but this is not sufficient to keep the world on a safe temperature rise trajectory. Implementation of the INDCs will only lead to higher and higher emissions till 2030," says CSE Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan. "We need more than INDCs at Paris. Else, we might well be looking at a future of run-away global warming and disastrous impacts of extreme weather events on the poor and vulnerable of the world."

CSE Director General Sunita Narain adds, "The misappropriation of carbon space by developed countries will lead to little carbon space being left for developing countries for basic developmental needs. Consumption levels in developed countries will have to be reigned in if emissions are to come down to sustainable levels. It is important this reality is discussed and resolved in the Paris climate conference."

CSE's comments on the synthesis report:

Aggregate effect of INDCs insufficient to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius: CSE finds that the emissions from the world will not peak even in 2030 and the projected emission level of 57 billion tonnes in 2030 is about 25 per cent more than what the emissions should have been to keep the world on a 2-degree target. To remain within 2 degrees, the global emissions should peak latest between 2020 and 2030.

World will finish 75 per cent of the remaining carbon budget of 1,000 billion tonnes by 2030: The UNFCCC report confirms CSE’s previous estimate that the world will exhaust 70-80 per cent of its remaining carbon budget by 2030.

Global warming of over 3 degrees Celsius is expected: CSE disagrees with the projections put out by agencies, including UNFCCC, that the temperature rise will be about 2.7 degrees by 2100. Considering that about 75 per cent of the remaining carbon budget will be exhausted by 2030 and global emissions will not have peaked by 2030, CSE projections show that the world is on a temperature path of more than 3 degrees.

Mitigation efforts from developed countries less than they are by developing countries: Studies by various civil society organisations, including CSE, show that the efforts from developed countries fall well short of what their efforts should have been considering their historical responsibility. US and the EU countries climate action plans represent only about a fifth of what they should have been doing based on their economic capability and responsibility of causing climate change.

Carbon space for basic development needs and survival emissions compromised: With nations such as the US and EU misappropriating more than their fair share of carbon budgets from now until 2030 and further staking a claim on the carbon budget until 2050, the poor from Asia and Africa will have very little space for growth after 2030 when most of the carbon space will have been exhausted.

A new mechanism required to distribute the carbon budget within countries based on equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR): While the report does not talk about a mechanism for increasing ambition in the mitigation efforts of countries, CSE strongly believes that this will not be sufficient. A mechanism must be evolved and agreed in Paris to fairly distribute the carbon budget within countries based on the principles of UNFCCC like equity and CDBR. If that is not done, developing countries will have very little carbon budget left to meet their basic human development needs post 2030.

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  • I doubt whether the author really understood the subject by projecting 3oC. Even he may not read the IPCC reports properly.

    IPCC changed its tone and tenor on global warming and stated in its AR5 that “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.” Also, this was stated after trial and error adjustment of sensitivity factor related to greenhouse effect. Paris targetting the limit of 2oC is attributed to global warming by 2100. What is the contribution of global warming associated with the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gases [greenhouse effect] in global temperature rise? Even if we assume there is global warming [IPCC may further bring down the contribution in AR6 through trial and error approach], its contribution may be less than 25%. With this analogy, global temperature must rise by around 8 oC by 2100!!! [as stated by CSE if the global warming is 3 oC then the global temperature rise is expected to be 12 oC]. Not included here the natural variability component. Paris meet is related to that less than 25% of global temperature rise only forgetting the other 75% component. Let UN tell this fact to nations.
    The science of “climate change” has turned into a political satire of “global warming and carbon credits”. Also, majority use climate change as an adjective to get their papers published in reputed journals or institutions to get funds or to go with the wave. IPCC is giving weight to number rather than science. In this process the major casualty is the health of life forms on the Earth, more particularly in developing countries.
    UN and other agencies are looking at reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from industry, mostly coal fired power plants. We considered for this purpose, carbon dioxide as pollution. The real pollution that has been affecting all life-forms, namely air, water, soil and food have taken the back seat.
    UN and other agencies are talking of emission reduction and collection & sharing of billions of dollars; but not looking at the real culprit, namely high power consumption sectors like urbanization, technologies that includes IT basically because from these sectors benefits go to few rich business houses, mostly from the West similar to GMO & chemical input agriculture technologies.
    Earth’s climate is dynamic and it is always changing through the natural cycles. What we are experiencing now is part of this system. Also, general circulation patterns over different parts of the globe are part of this system. They are highly region specific systems. However, with the unabated population growth and to meet their needs under the new lifestyles based on technological innovations, local and regional environments are modified and thus they influence the natural cycle in climate at local and regional scales is represented by trend.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    Posted by: Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy | 4 years ago | Reply