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HomeClimate Change News2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50



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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

Posted on 17 December 2022 by John Hartz

Story of the Week

1.5 and 2°C: A Journey Through the Temperature Target That Haunts the World

Seven years have passed since the Paris Agreement, the most important climate pact to date. Everyone knows the limits of warming, but few know their origins and drivers. 

Translated from the original published at climatica.lamarea.com.

Two numbers. One long-term goal. In 2015, nearly 200 countries agreed to “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”. It was at COP21, where the Paris Agreement, the most important climate pact to date, was enshrined.

That paragraph, in article 2, paragraph 2.a., marked a before and after. Every policy, law, regulation, study, analysis, proposal or action that has the climate crisis in mind is built on the basis of those two figures: 1.5 and 2. They are our lighthouse. But why are both numbers so important? And what is even less well known: where do they come from?

The answer is neither simple nor short. Like a chicken and egg dilemma, who came up with these goals first, politics or science? In the following lines, we will try to unravel their origins and understand how two numerical targets have ended up guiding and influencing the planet.

Just as the legend that babies come from storks from Paris is not true, temperature limits did not magically appear during the summit in the French capital. Nor did they appear at the same time, nor has the same language always been used to refer to them, as will be seen below.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on DeSmog International. 

1.5 and 2°C: A Journey Through the Temperature Target That Haunts the World by Edu Robaina, DeSmog International, Dec 11, 2022


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