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Club of Rome

Climate love

The science is clear: we need net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050

In response to the debate on whether there is indeed a scientific case for the phase out of fossil fuel energy, world renowned climate scientists have worked around the clock to come together with a unified statement.
The link between climate science and fossil fuel phase out is unequivocal. The Club of Rome has worked in partnership with Future Earth and World Climate Research Program to convene a statement from scientists in response to comments regarding fossil fuel phaseout pathways.
STATEMENT
For all intents and purposes, moving towards the phase-out of fossil fuel combustion is necessary to keep the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach. Deploying carbon dioxide removal (CDR) at scale, while being judicious about its limitations and trade-offs, will also be necessary to complement the phase out of fossil fuels, as there will be some residual emissions from hard-to-abate sectors.
As assessed by the IPCC, reaching net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is required to stand a chance of holding global warming to 1.5°C this century. Net zero means that all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are balanced by anthropogenic carbon dioxide removals. Scenarios consistent with this goal require a complete phase-out of coal by 2050 and rapid phase-down of oil and gas (halved every decade). After 2050 the world needs to rapidly move into net negative emissions, particularly after a number of decades of 1.5°C overshoot.
The most recent assessments of pathways to limit warming at 1.5°C show that by 2050 all unabated use of coal needs to be completely phased-out, while oil and unabated gas need to be phased down by 60-90%.1 To have a 50% chance of holding the global temperature increase to 1.5°C, we can only emit another 275 Gt of carbon dioxide.2 At current emissions rates, we will have used up this budget in just 7 years. Over its lifetime, the existing infrastructure for the extraction and use of fossil fuels would emit more than the world’s remaining carbon budget. New planned infrastructure and exploration for new fossil fuel reserves would exceed this budget many times over.3

All modelling scenarios that limit warming to 1.5°C – with or without a temporary temperature overshoot – rely on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and net negative emissions from 2050 onwards. Current CDR methods amount to about 5% of fossil fuel emissions and rely almost entirely on using nature to enhance carbon storage, but the permanence and scale-up potential of these nature-based CDR methods are uncertain as they are vulnerable to multiple threats including climate change (e.g. due to increases in extremes such as droughts or wildfires). There are also significant trade-offs with food and water security and the protection of biodiversity.
Novel, technology-based, CDR methods currently provide just 0.1% of CDR from the atmosphere4 (this includes direct air capture and storage, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage). Novel CDR is just now moving from pilot experiments into its scaling phase and while theoretically promising there is no evidence yet that these methods can be deployed at the scale needed. Nor do we know whether these CDR methods will be enough to remove even the difficult-to-abate emissions in a timely manner.
Given the certainty about the shrinking carbon budget, and the overwhelming uncertainty about the scalability of CDR, the only certain way to curb global warming and reach net zero is to reduce fossil fuel emissions to the unavoidable minimum level – and concurrently invest in CDR to offset the remaining amount of residual fossil fuel emissions. This residual needs to be kept as low as possible in view of the uncertainties of scale, storage timescale, and trade-offs associated with CDR.
The natural carbon sinks beyond human activity are not included in the net zero equation. The remaining carbon budget already factors in the continued performance of natural land and ocean carbon sinks to remove a significant fraction of anthropogenic emissions (also accounting for their declining efficiency in a warmer world).

The science is clear: there is no room for ambiguity on the required action for achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.


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Read the full report and all the scientists that have signed:



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  • Alireza Makvandi

    18 w

    The Dubai Summit can be considered for this issue. In this meeting, a position was presented regarding climate change and reduction of greenhouse gases. I have done research and studies in the field of reducing carbon dioxide and I have suggested methods before. There was no similar offer before my offer.

    2
    • We Don't Have Time

      19 w

      Dear Ingmar Rentzhog Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Club of Rome by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

      1
      • walter lungayi

        19 w

        This highlights the urgency and necessity of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in order to address the global climate crisis. It emphasizes the importance of taking action now to achieve a net zero carbon future by 2050.

        3
        • johnte ndeto

          19 w

          Fossil fuels should be a story of the past now as it causes more harm than good to our climate

          1
          • Rosalind Kent

            19 w

            Let's get rid of fossil fuels NOW !!!

            6
          • Gorffly mokua

            19 w

            This will not be possible with the kind of influence fossil fuel investors have on climate issues!

            5
            • George Kariuki

              19 w

              Governments must implement effective policies and regulations to incentivize renewable energy and accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels.

              4
              • Grace Njeri

                19 w

                Net zero emission is essential for our planet.

                11
                • Elizabeth Gathigia

                  19 w

                  @grace_njeri_804 Absolutely, the mission here is to get to net zero emission

                  3
                  • mercy nduta

                    19 w

                    @grace_njeri_804 It remains feasible if we stand focused and committed.

                    2
                    • Jane Wangui

                      19 w

                      @grace_njeri_804 I agree on this.

                      2
                    • Njugi Muikamba

                      19 w

                      We must factor in restoration of 350million hactares of destroyed,degraded and damaged terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems all over the world could also remove 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.Such intervention has far reaching economic benefit for the people and nature.

                      5
                      • Munene Mugambi

                        19 w

                        We only achieve these milestones by pushing our leaders there and getting rid of those who put our livelihoods in danger

                        4
                        • Brendan Jones

                          19 w

                          I’m not sure why we’re talking about “keeping 1.5C in reach” when “The IPCC pathway for staying below the 1.5°C climate goal is now considered implausible by the expert climate community.”? This insinuates that 1.5C is still possible, which fails to communicate the urgency with which we need to decarbonise. From https://signon.scientistrebellion.com/

                          3
                          • Ingmar Rentzhog

                            19 w

                            @brendan_jones Listen to their session. Achieving 1.5 degrees is still possible, but we will likely need to overshoot for a short period. This is something Johan Rockström described as very dangerous but unavoidable.

                            4
                            • Remeda Allefien

                              1 w

                              Truly a topic of concern. The climate changes erratically and different types of energy have too much influence. The unity shows the appeal of this diverse theme https://geometry-lite.co

                              1
                            • Isabel Arens

                              19 w

                              Might be interesting for one or the other💡The Club of Rome shaped the word 'degrowth'. One member told me, that we have to grow nature 🌳🐝 This was a mistake in past communications about degrowth, referred to economy and consumption.

                              8
                              • Kevin

                                19 w

                                Really brilliant research from these climate scientists

                                12
                                Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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