Realizing the Promise of Paris: Roadmap to a Safer Climate

Report
January 23, 2019

Michel Euler/AP Photo

In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report served as an alarm bell jolt to the global community. The report revealed that limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius—previously viewed a climate-safe target—actually would lead to wide-spread climate hazard and harm, and that to truly avoid major hardship the target should be nearer to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report also reinforced that the commitments countries put forward through the Paris Agreement are insufficient to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5 degrees. Leaving the world to wonder: what do we do now?

To answer that question, NRDC teamed up with the NewClimate Institute to assess 24 practical and realistic actions to chart a course to a safer climate future. Just 19 of these actions which are already in motion could, if accelerated by 2030, put the world on a pathway to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. And implementing the remaining five actions as well as additional actions can put the world closer to a path to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To be clear: this roadmap is ambitious, but it is achievable if we embark immediately. And as the calls for climate action grow louder and more urgent, it charts a course we need to follow to avoid climate catastrophe.