, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
New Nature paper out today
states very clearly what is needed if governments are serious about limiting global heating to 1.5C, as agreed at Paris.

Spoiler: No new fossil fuelled infrastructure, anywhere, ever. From now on.

Read thread for details...
Existing infrastructure - if operated until the end of its lifetime - commits us to 658 billion tonnes (Gt) CO2 future emissions. That's -

358 Gt from electricity (mainly power plants)
162 from industry
64 from transport, mostly on-road vehicles
But there's more: over 1,000 GW of fossil-fuelled power plants are planned, permitted or in construction. (20% in China).

That gives us another 188 Gt committed future CO2 emissions.

TOTAL: 846 Gt "if all proposed plants built and all infrastructure operated".
According to the IPCC, our remaining 1.5C carbon budget is 420-580 Gt CO2. (To have a 50-66% chance of limiting warming to 1.5C)

What does this mean? It means ALL PLANNED, PERMITTED AND UNDER CONSTRUCTION fossil infrastructure must be CANCELLED. Paging @ExtinctionR !
Done? OK, so now take the 188 from the 846 - but still leaves 658 Gt of committed emissions. Damn! Still over budget.

Therefore... to have a better than 50:50 chance of meeting the 1.5C goal another 100-200 Gt-equiv of power plants, cars, industry etc MUST BE CLOSED EARLY.
Or we ditch the 1.5C target and go for 2C instead. That means:

- 99% of coral reefs extinct
- 65 million more people exposed to deadly heat
- 2x as many plants, 3x animals lose 50% of their habitat as 1.5C
- Arctic sea ice disappears
- 10 million displaced by rising seas
... and much more (as I'll outline in the new Six Degrees book). The carbon budget for 2 degrees is bigger, 1170-1500 Gt CO2. Phew - still some wriggle room then!

But keeping to this bigger 2C budget means:

...reducing emissions by 5% per year STARTING FROM NOW. Not 2030, now.
Other options the authors suggest to stretch the budget:

- Massive retrofit of carbon capture & storage (ain't gonna happen)
- Large-scale negative emissions (trash the biosphere with BECCS)
- "Solar radiation management" (geoengineering - ugh)
Here's what we need to do:

- No new coal or gas power plants, anywhere, ever.
- Immediate transition to fully electric transport (no more diesel, petrol)
- Stop all oil/coal/gas exploration (bye bye Shell/BP/Exxon)
- Massive renewables+nuclear deployment
- Decarbonise industry
But where are we ACTUALLY heading?

- carbon emissions at an all-time high, 37Gt in 2018, 2% annual growth: globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/1…
- current policies still take us potentially over 4 degrees = climate catastrophe
And if we fail? What does 4 degrees or above mean in terms of climate impacts?



/the end
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