We need to halve global emissions by 2030
Despite the near unanimous global support to fight climate change, global emissions are still on the rise, and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has never been higher. In 2018, annual global greenhouse gas emissions reached an estimated 54 gigatonnes, the highest level ever recorded.
Without further action, emissions are projected to increase in the coming years, which is in stark contrast to what is required. To keep global warming below 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced from 54 to 26 gigatonnes by 2030, and approach net zero by 2050. Reaching ‘net zero’ means that actual emissions do not need to reach zero, as long as any remaining emissions are balanced by removing carbon from the atmosphere. For example, in 2050 it would be possible to absorb emissions of around 7 gigatonnes per year if our planet’s ability to act as a ‘carbon sink’, capturing carbon dioxide, is preserved and enhanced.