What is the 1.5° target?
Long-running scientific research on greenhouse gas emission projections, climate modelling, and assessments of climate change impacts on the earth and human society, show that limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is our best chance to mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis. Achieving the 1.5° target would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, including ecosystems collapse, temperature extremes, heavy precipitation events, agricultural and ecological damages from droughts, and sea level rise.
The goal “to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius” was adopted by 196 governments in 2015 as part of the legally binding Paris Agreement. But meeting the target will require rapid and drastic reductions in GHG emissions and achieving net-zero emissions globally by the middle of the 21st century.
According to consumption-based emissions accounting, emissions in high-income countries will need to be reduced by more than 90% by 2050. The window for effective action is small and rapidly closing – if global emissions continue at the current level for the next decade, the chance of achieving the 1.5° target will be lost.