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We can still make it – climate protection is not just a matter of technology

Myth

Thanks to new technologies the climate problem will solve itself in a few years; no reason to intervene in all areas of life.

Facts

Climate protection is not a mere technology matter, but a far-reaching structural change in our society which offers a chance for a better and fairer world.

The remaining “CO2 budgets“ for limiting the global temperature increase to +1.5 and +2°C, respectively, call for fast action. The later greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, the faster the reduction would need to take place or to be achieved by using additional CO2 sinks, so-called “negative emissions”. Applying the current 41 gigatons (Gt) of global emissions as a base, the relevant budget of 600 Gt would be used up in 15 years if the 1.5°C target were to be kept. The reference for the 2°C target would be 800 Gt CO2; although it is necessary to keep in mind that these values correspond to (only) a 66% probability in the IPCC scenarios. Therefore, it is not about defining a specific figure but about defining a clear path towards decarbonisation.

The positive news is that globally CO2 emissions have not increased in the past three years – in particular due to limiting the use of coal. On top of technological developments, many initiatives around the world are also proving that new paths for limiting climate change are being explored. Moreover, ambitious climate protection measures are linked to other sustainable development goals, such as fighting poverty, food security, health, economic development, humane working conditions, etc.