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Energy and Climate Change

What is needed to prevent dangerous climate change?

Question and Answer | 01-12-2015

Model analysis suggests that it is possible to achieve the 2 °C climate target, with a likely chance, given the estimated 2020 emission level resulting from current implemented and planned policies.

Rapid emission reductions required

However, this requires implementation of additional stringent and comprehensive reduction measures. More specifically, a likely chance of achieving the 2 °C target requires global emissions to peak in the 2020–2030 period, and 2030 emission levels to be near the 2010level, followed by rapid reductions thereafter.

IPCC: reduction level between 40% and 70%

In order to achieve the 2 °C target the IPCC (IPCC Working Group III) indicates a required reduction level between 40% and 70% by 2050, relative to 2010. It is important to note that the emission pathways that are close to the 40% reduction level are much more dependent on negative CO2 emissions in the second half of the century, which can be achieved by large-scale adoption of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

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CO2 emissions scenarios assuming no new climate policies (grey) and scenarios consistent with the 2o C target, with net negative emissions (green) and without net negative emissions (blue).

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