Deep Decarbonization: Essential, Impossible, or Both?
For decades, policymakers have agreed that the world should aim to limit overall global warming to two degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic climate change. This target was central to the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. As the years have passed, however, and emissions have grown, the emissions cuts necessary to respect that limit have become ever more demanding. Some advocates now argue that the only way to make the two degree target is to pursue ‘deep decarbonization’ – eliminating all net carbon emissions from the global economy. What pathways can lead countries to deep decarbonization? Are policies that rely on transitioning to 100 percent clean energy—such as the law passed in California this September—achievable? How much should we rely on technologies such as carbon capture and storage in pursuit of such goals? As countries prepare to meet in Poland in December to write the Paris rulebook, how can countries work together to meet their goals, moving past the usual divide between emerging and industrialized countries?
Saieh Hall, Room 146