Under 2ºC of Warming Is Possible, but Only if Countries Keep Their Pledges

Jose A. Bernat Bacete/GETTY IMAGES
Jose A. Bernat Bacete/GETTY IMAGES

A study recently published in the journal Nature found that if countries keep their climate pledges, less than ​​2ºC of global warming is possible. The problem? Current policies aren’t supporting those goals. Right now, policies in place put peak global warming at 2.6ºC by 2100.

1.2ºC of warming is already here—and the effects are being felt around the world, with more intense storms, heatwaves, and ecosystem losses. Scientists believe that pushing the planet past 1.5ºC will further exacerbate the climate crisis. To prevent going up 2ºC, countries’ policies need to change now to align with their pledges.

Christophe McGlade from the International Energy Agency said in the Guardian, “These results are clearly a cause for optimism. We’ve come a long way since the Paris agreement was signed back in 2015. But now the real work has to start. The pledges have not yet been backed up by the strong and credible near-term policies needed to make them a reality.”