GLRPPR Sector Resource: Climate Change: Policy and Mitigation Factsheet
Climate Change: Policy and Mitigation Factsheet
Climate change is a global problem that will require global cooperation to address. The objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which virtually all nations, including the U.S., have ratified, is to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that will not cause "dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system". Due to the persistence of the increased concentrations of GHGs, significant emissions reductions must be achieved in coming decades to meet the UNFCCC objective. Unrestricted growth in global emissions is projected to lead to a 5% increase in CO2 concentration levels from 2011 to 2030 and between a 74-202% increase by 2100. Stabilizing CO2 at 450 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere by the year 2100 (which will likely keep temperature change below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels) will require lowering global CO2 emissions in 2050 by 40-70% compared to 2010, and will require emissions levels near zero GtCO2e in 2100. Stabilization at 500 ppm, almost double the pre-industrial concentration, could be achieved by holding GHG emissions constant for 50 years and then reducing emissions by two-thirds over the following 50 years. In 2014, U.S. GHG emissions were 6.9 GtCO2e.
Center for Sustainable Systems - University of Michigan
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