A Copenhagen Prognosis: Towards a Safe Climate Future – A Synthesis of the Science of Climate Change, Environment and Development

Report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Stockholm Environment Institute, and The Energy and Resources Institute

Author(s): Kartha, S. ; Siebert, C.K.; Mathur, R.; Nakicenovic, N.; Ramanathan, V.; Rockstrom, J.; Schellnhuber, H.J; Srivastava, L.; Watt, R.
Year: 2009

The report offers a concise diagnosis of the state of the biosphere and observed trends and discusses a potential solution that is consistent with a 2°C warming threshold, equity and economic development. Key points of the report:

- Emerging scientific results suggest that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions targets currently being tabled are not consistent with the expressed political will to protect humanity against high risks of devastating climate impacts and significant risks of self-amplifying global warming.

- Based on the available carbon budget, and if we are to have a good (75 per cent) chance for warming to stay below 2°C, global GHG emissions would almost certainly need to decline extremely rapidly after 2015, and reach essentially zero by midcentury.

- There is no evidence suggesting it is impossible to rise to this challenge. To the contrary, the growing body of analytical work examining such scenarios at the global and regional level suggest it is not only technically feasible but also economically affordable, even profitable.

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