Opportunities and challenges in using remaining carbon budgets to guide climate policy

Matthews, H. Damon; Tokarska, Katarzyna B.; Nicholls, Zebedee R. J.; Rogelj, Joeri; Canadell, Josep G.; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Frölicher, Thomas L.; Forster, Piers M.; Gillett, Nathan P.; Ilyina, Tatiana; Jackson, Robert B.; Jones, Chris D.; Koven, Charles; Knutti, Reto; MacDougall, Andrew H.; Meinshausen, Malte; Mengis, Nadine; Séférian, Roland; Zickfeld, Kirsten (2020). Opportunities and challenges in using remaining carbon budgets to guide climate policy. Nature geoscience, 13(12), pp. 769-779. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41561-020-00663-3

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The remaining carbon budget represents the total amount of CO2 that can still be emitted in the future while limiting global warming to a given temperature target. Remaining carbon budget estimates range widely, however, and this uncertainty can be used to either trivialize the most ambitious mitigation targets by characterizing them as impossible, or to argue that there is ample time to allow for a gradual transition to a low-carbon economy. Neither of these extremes is consistent with our best understanding of the policy implications of remaining carbon budgets. Understanding the scientific and socio-economic uncertainties affecting the size of the remaining carbon budgets, as well as the methodological choices and assumptions that underlie their calculation, is essential before applying them as a policy tool. Here we provide recommendations on how to calculate remaining carbon budgets in a traceable and transparent way, and discuss their uncertainties and implications for both international and national climate policies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Frölicher, Thomas

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1752-0908

Publisher:

Springer Nature

Language:

English

Submitter:

BORIS Import 2

Date Deposited:

23 Aug 2021 14:19

Last Modified:

23 Aug 2021 14:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41561-020-00663-3

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/158644

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/158644

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