The possible but dramatic acceleration of climate policy by 2025 could result in the limit of global warming below 2°C, a new Forecast Policy Scenario by the Inevitable Policy Response finds Monday.
Providing a forecast of likely policy developments and assessing the impact on the real economy, the forecast covers 21 major economies at a granular level.
The study estimates that total CO2 emissions will fall by 80% by 2050, giving a 50% chance of keeping global warming to well below 2°C, or close to 1.8°C.
It anticipates that policymakers will be pushed to make the changes necessary to reach a below 2°C pathway by 2025.
Investor, corporate and civil society pressure around net zero targets, climate impacts, volatile weather patterns and low-carbon technology developments are deemed to drive these changes.
According to the forecast, emission reductions are driven by the forceful policy in the 2020s across energy, food and land systems.
Land sector emissions are estimated to fall by 125%, from around 6 gigatonnes equivalent of CO2 emissions in 2020 to around -1 gigatonne equivalent of CO2 emissions in 2020 per year by 2050, returning land to be a net CO2 sink.
The forecast outlines that sweeping policy changes in the next decade could lead to a transformation across the energy system, including zero-emissions vehicles making up around 30% of all vehicles on the road by 2030 and accelerating the fall in oil demand.
As a result of the accelerated policy actions, energy sector emissions are forecast to fall by 75%, from around 34 gigatonnes equivalent of CO2 emissions in 2020 to around 9 gigatonnes equivalent of CO2 emissions in 2050, according to the forecast.
However, the same policy acceleration would not yet be enough to keep warming to 1.5°C, a critical limit to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
For the 1.5°C threshold, an end to deforestation across the entire globe ideally by 2025 is needed while eliminating unabated coal in most advanced economies including China by 2035.
Keeping global temperature rise within 1.5°C limits also requires phasing out of new fossil fuel cars in almost all markets by 2040 and a 100% transition to clean power globally by 2045, according to the forecast.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya