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Success of climate talks vital for 2°C target
Date:11/15/2013

nt towards the 2 degree target, according to the study. Translating the 2 degree target into emissions reductions requires choosing a maximum likelihood of temporarily overshooting 2 degrees that would still be tolerated. The choice of this tolerance level was found to have a significant effect on longer term emissions reduction requirements and economic impacts. However, the near term requirement of strengthening global climate policy was unchanged, as global emissions declined after 2020 in any scenario of global climate action coming into effect by 2020. In addition, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere in the 2nd half of the century could be a key element of implementing the emission pathways in the Durban Platform scenarios, for instance through technologies using energy from biomass combined with Carbon Capture and Storage. Plants absorb CO2 to grow and could be processed in biogas plants, with emissions captured and being stored underground.

This could be an option to compensate higher short term emissions with deeper emissions cuts in the long run, but at the expense of a higher likelihood of temporarily overshooting 2 degrees. At the same time, it would raise a number of concerns, because the CCS technology is not yet available for large-scale use and scaling up bio-energy comes with considerable risks by increasing the competition for arable land. "It is very risky to rely too much on removing CO2 from the atmosphere in the second half of the century," says Kriegler. "While we may need carbon dioxide removal even if global climate action is implemented in 2020, we would need much more of it if action is delayed further. Despite all these complexities, the message is fairly simple," adds Kriegler. "In the longer term, there are a number of options to get to 2 degrees. But those will only remain on the table, if global climate action is substantially strengthened over the coming decade, so that global emissions decline after 2020."

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Contact: PIK Press Office
press@pik-potsdam.de
49-331-288-2507
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Source:Eurekalert

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