Idea Almanac

When the amount of carbon added to the atmosphere is greater than the amount we remove (as has been the case for over a century), the stock of carbon dioxide increases. To stabilise temperature rises below 1.5°C, at 2°C or indeed at any temperature, we must reach net zero – the balance where the carbon emitted and taken out of the atmosphere is equal. Net zero isn’t a slogan, it’s an imperative of climate physics.To get on the path to stabilise temperatures at 1.5°C, emissions need to fall by a minimum of 8 per cent year on year over the next two decades. To put that into context, total CO2 emissions for 2020 (which incorporated full-scale, Covid-19-induced shutdowns of our economies) decreased by around 5 to 7 per cent. To be clear, even at this crisis-reduced rate, we are continuing to spend our carbon budget, and we are not on track to meet our temperature goals.

Excerpt From: Mark Carney. “Values.”