From the New York Times: Reports from the Paris climate talks indicate that momentum is increasing among countries to improve emissions. Specifically, the emissions gap is decreasing. The emissions gap is the difference between a country’s pledge to decrease emissions by some amount in the coming years and what the scientific predictions state are the goals that actually need to be met.
The fact that the gap is shrinking is positive news, but it comes with a caveat: countries are only looking to 2030 and not beyond.
According to the article, maintaining lower levels of emissions will become increasingly difficult as we move past 2030 and into the rest of the century. Guido Schmit-Traub says, “It puzzles me how people can conclude that needed technologies exist today when they only look at emission reductions through to 2030. The really hard part starts thereafter. Since every new power plant built today will still be in operation in 2050 the structural transformation of energy systems must start very soon. To understand how energy systems must be transformed over the next ten years we need a longer-term view through to 2050.”