The next 10 years are critical for achieving the temperature rise limits set by the Paris Agreement, a new study finds.
To limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) say it's necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting emissions or by removing it from the atmosphere through plants, the ocean, and soil while also preserving carbon sinks, natural systems that suck up and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
"The study shows that the combined energy and land-use system should deliver zero net anthropogenic emissions well before 2040 in order to assure the attainability of a 1.5°C target by 2100," study co-author and IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management Program Director Michael Obersteiner said.
Consumption of fossil fuels – coal, natural gas or crude oil – would need to be reduced to less than 25 percent of the global energy supply by 2100, the study says, while land use change such as deforestation needed to be decreased.
"This study gives a broad accounting of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, where it comes from and where it goes. We take into account not just emissions from fossil fuels, but also agriculture, land use, food production, bioenergy, and carbon uptake by natural ecosystems," lead researcher Brian Walsh said.
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