Rapid Coal Exit Would Cool Planet by 0.5 Degrees Celsius

Phasing out coal as a way to make electricity by 2050 would reduce global warming by 0.5 degrees Celsius, according to a group of scientists.

“There is a particular urgency for governments to reverse recent trends in the electricity sector, especially the increasing investment in coal, in order to focus the power industry on rapid greenhouse gas emission reductions,” Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, said in the statement.

Scientists at Ecofys, Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research carried out the study.

Fossil fuel and industrial carbon-dioxide emissions need to be cut to nearly zero by mid-century to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), a level scientists believe would avert the worst impacts of climate change.

Current plans put the world on track for warming of 3.7 degrees Celsius, according to an e-mailed statement today.

President Barack Obama and more than 100 other world leaders will meet at a summit in New York tomorrow to gather momentum for climate negotiations later this year and conclude them at a meeting in Paris next December.

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