Researchers consider 2°C as a dangerous tipping point, and once it is reached, the effects of climate change will be extremely difficult to stop.
The report comes from the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a collaboration between many different research institutions. They examined 15 countries’ plans to cut emissions, and found that 7 of them were “inadequate”.
The 15 countries contribute 65% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The countries whose plans were inadequate included Japan, Australia and Canada. The United States, China and the European Union were among the 6 plans that were deemed “medium”, which means that their plans will contribute to avoiding the 2°C target. Ethiopia and Morocco were the only countries to receive a “sufficient” rating; these countries are doing their part to mitigate climate change.
Unfortunately, CAT also found that, using the current plans, the global temperature would actually reach an average of 3°C, at which point sea level rise and dramatic weather would greatly threaten life on earth.
However, not all emissions-producing countries have declared their plans yet. For example, Brazil environmentalists have come up with a program that will cut carbon by 35% in 2030. Their plan includes massive cuts to deforestation and and will replant millions of acres as well as incentivize biofuels and hydropower.
Finding ways to cut emissions without raising the cost of doing business is currently a struggle for many countries. Tackling climate change is no small task, which is why it is so important to support new research as well as promote policy changes. Scientists might be able to get the job done if the government cannot. Check out how researchers made carbon nano-fibers with atmospheric carbon dioxide for an example of how innovation can help us stop the increase in global temperature.