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The world could completely abandon fossil fuels by 2050

The world could completely abandon fossil fuels by 2050

Climate summit commitments judged insufficient to avoid warming, divestment from fossil fuel investment soars into the trillions, and the world could be running on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

Warming unavoidable?

Just over two months from now, representatives from nations around the world will be gathering in Paris to discuss a new plan for addressing the threat of climate change.

However, according to a Reuters report, U.N. Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said that the current pledges – the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) from a total of 62 nations – only cover 70 per cent of global emissions. Furthermore, a report in The Guardian said that information from UK government sources revealed that the remaining INDCs that are expected to come in before the summit would only bring that figure up to 85 per cent.

Based on those numbers, covering only 70 per cent of emissions would apparently only limit us to 3.0 degrees C of warming, while reaching 85 per cent of emissions would mean a 2.5 degree C rise. With the intended target being 2.0 degrees C of warming – meant to avoid the worst consequences of climate change – the pledges, as they stand now and those expected, are not sufficient.

“What the INDCs will do is mark a very substantial departure from business as usual,” Figueres said, according to The Guardian. However, she went further to say: “Is 3oC acceptable? No.”

The world is already committed to a certain level of warming based on the emissions that have already been released into the atmosphere.

As of 2015, global temperatures have risen by 0.85oC since the start of the Industrial Revolution. If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the contribution already added to the atmosphere, along with any secondary effects (such as climate feedbacks), would likely mean another 0.6oC of warming by the end of this century.

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