Australia’s share of global CO2 emissions from domestic use of fossil fuels was about 1.4% in 2017. Accounting for fossil fuel exports lifts Australia’s global carbon footprint to about 5%. This is equivalent to the total emissions of Russia, which is ranked the fifth biggest CO2 emitter globally.

This report shows that South and South East Asian countries can shift their energy systems from fossil fuels to renewables to fuel economic growth, boost sustainable development and overcome energy poverty while avoiding life-threatening pollution and environmental degradation.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published its Special Report on 1.5°C (SR15) to guide implementation of the Paris Agreement. Governments are tasked with developing long-term low emission sustainable development strategies (LT-LEDS) in line with the 1.5°C goal, and are invited to submit them by 2020.

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) estimate of the total warming of the aggregate effect of Paris Agreement commitments and of real-world policy shows little change. If all governments achieved their Paris Agreement commitments the world will likely warm 3.0°C—twice the 1.5°C limit they agreed in Paris.

The European Union has recently published its Strategic Vision “A clean planet for all” along with the In-Depth Analysis supporting it. In it, the European Commission claims that an 80% reduction of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 can be taken as being in line with the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal.

South Africa is one of the many governments from around the world who have committed to limiting temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Current efforts are simply insufficient.

The IPCC SR 1.5°C bolsters the case for pursuing the lower end of the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal, and makes clear that it is no longer sufficient to reduce emissions alone – CO2 will also need to be removed from the atmosphere, on a scale never previously attempted.

Integrated Assessment Models of climate change mitigation, assessed in IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (IPCC SR1.5), show a large spectrum of 1.5°C- compatible pathways that limit warming to this level during the century, or exceed it by only a limited amount of less than 0.1°C (“low overshoot”).

This technical note looks at the estimates of the remaining warming that have been used in the IPCC AR5 and in recent studies, and evaluates the consequences for carbon budget estimates to limit warming to 1.5°C.

This report elaborates a strategy for phasing out coal in the European Union and its member states and provides a science-based shut-down schedule of coal power plants at the individual unit level, in line with the Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal.

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