Steffen, W., Broadgate, W., Deutsch, L., Gaffney, O., & Ludwig, C. (2015). The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration. The Anthropocene Review, 2(1), 81–98. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053019614564785
In its 2018 Special Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates the CO2 budget at 420 Gt if the 1.5 degree target (in terms of global average surface air temperature) of 66 % is to be achieved. If emissions remained the same, this budget would be used up in nine to ten years.
According to the authors of A good life for all within planetary boundaries, if we divided the amount of carbon that we can still burn equally between everyone on earth, then each person could emit 1.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year until 2100. That would give us a 66% chance of staying beneath 2°C of warming, generally accepted as a threshold for dangerous climate change.
However, if you use the latest figures (as of 2018) for human population and remaining carbon budget, that falls to 1.2 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per person per year.
That’s less than a one-way economy flight from London to San Francisco.
Source: Nick Evershed, Carbon countdown clock: how much of the world’s carbon budget have we spent? The Guardian, January 19, 2017.
In particular, the energy sector with stationary and mobile sources emits greenhouse gases in Germany, especially carbon dioxide. However, emissions from industrial processes and agriculture are also relevant, the latter in particular due to the release of methane and nitrous oxide.
The climate target of reducing Germany’s emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 remains unattainable, especially due to the release of methane and nitrous oxide, despite the extremely good 2018 balance.
For this, however, a far-reaching change in society and economy is necessary… In particular, the focus should be on investments in those long-lived infrastructures and sustainable technologies that make it possible to phase out the use of fossil energy …
There is one empirical model that feasibly accomplishes emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Agreement, without relying on negative emissions technologies.
The scenario, known as ‘Low Energy Demand’ (LED), accomplishes emissions reductions compatible with 1.5°C by reducing global energy demand by 40 per cent by 2050.
key feature of this scenario is that global material production and consumption declines significantly
Dematerialisation is accomplished by shifting away from private ownership of key commodities (like cars) towards sharing-based models. LED differentiates between the global North and South. Industrial activity declines by 42 per cent in the North and 12 per cent in the South. With efficiency improvements, this translates into industrial energy demand declining by 57 per cent in the North and 23 per cent in the South.
while absolute decoupling of GDP from emissions is possible and is already happening in some regions, it is unlikely to happen fast enough to respect the carbon budgets for 1.5°C and 2°C against a background of continued economic growth.
"But if you ask what is the kind of economy we want at this point, particularly in the developed economies, it makes sense to expand in the services that improve our lives, like health, education, social care, recreation, culture and crafts.
Translated from German with some help by https://www.DeepL.com/Translator
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