A new paper published today in Nature Climate Change explores technological, policy, and social changes that would need to take place in the near term in order to keep global average temperature from rising above 2°C, a target supported by more than 190 countries as a global limit to avoid dangerous climate change. This study for the first time comprehensively quantifies the costs and risks of greenhouse gas emissions surpassing critical thresholds by 2020. The findings of the study are particularly important given the failure of the recent climate negotiations in Doha to decide to increase mitigation action before 2020.So quick - zero our subsidies for wind and solar and start a crash program of nuclear reactors and natural gas fracking! What's that? Those are bad for the environment?
The authors show that the 2°C target could still be reached even if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced before 2020, but only at very high cost, with higher climate risks, and under exceedingly optimistic assumptions about future technologies. The more emissions are reduced in the near term, the more options will be available in the long run and, by extension, the cheaper it will be to reach international climate targets.
You'd almost think that the whole scheme wasn't about reducing carbon emissions, but rather grabbing a bunch of tax revenue. Well, you'd almost think that if you were as nasty and suspicious as I am.