Climate budget running out, but there's still time to drop CO2 emissions

Geneva, Switzerland - The leading scientific group on climate change dropped some new very concrete numbers for world's carbon budget, which is a clear goalpost for how much time is left to take climate action.

There is still time left to stop climate change. Ten years, to put a number on it.
There is still time left to stop climate change. Ten years, to put a number on it.  © Collage: IMAGO / Future Image, IMAGO / Panthermedia

In a video from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Josep Canadell, the executive director of the climate think tank Global Carbon Project, explains that the carbon budget is a way to measure how much time is left before our climate reaches a point of no return due to human influences.

That includes heavy pollution from burning fossil fuels or massive deforestation and changing land use.

The carbon budget is the amount of CO2 that can still be released into the atmosphere without wiping out any chance of stopping the global average temperature from passing 1.5 degrees Celsius rise over pre-industrial temperatures.

Right now, there are still 500 billion tons of CO2 left, giving the world 10 years to stop climate change, as the current rate of emissions of around 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year is expected to go up, especially due to increased use of coal.

The IPCC and the scientific community have long been in agreement that keeping the planet from warming past 1.5 degrees C is far better than capping the warming at an average of 2 degrees Celsius, because the rising intensity, frequency, and cost of disasters made worse by climate change is orders of magnitude worse at the global warming mark of 2 degrees C.

We still have a decade left to keep the climate from reaching a major tipping point by fixing the climate crisis, so go ahead and step on it, world leaders.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Future Image, IMAGO / Panthermedia

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