The international community has agreed several times that climate change must be limited to below 2°C. Many of the most vulnerable countries demand that this upper limit be tightened to 1.5°C to avoid further negative impacts on their populations. These global temperature limits will likely be included in the Paris Agreement as well.
But temperature goals are very abstract. Paris will deliver an agreement – but emission reductions have to be realized on national, subnational, local and private levels. What do temperature goals mean for governments deciding on their national climate targets? For investors wondering whether an investment in a coal plant or a wind farm will be the smarter choice? For citizens making their own choices about transport and energy options and demanding better policies? To answer these questions, the global temperature goal needs to be “translated” into more concrete global long-term action.
Alexander Reif & Lutz Weischer