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Energy & Science

Climate Promises Put Paris Goal Within Reach If Policies Quickly Follow

An analysis of recent national pledges concludes for the first time that projections dip below 2°C maximum warming if pollution reduction begins immediately.

An image from NASA’s DSCOVR satellite.

An image from NASA’s DSCOVR satellite.

Source: NASA

National climate goals made through mid-November—if met quickly—leave open the possibility that global warming could halt before it reaches 2°C, according to a new analysis that combines the pledges with the latest scientific research. Two degrees above the pre-industrial average is the upper limit that the Paris Agreement identified to avoid the most catastrophic impacts from climate change.

“Our results provide a reason to be optimistic: Warming could be limited to 2°C or just below, if the pledges on the table are implemented in full and on time,” the authors write in the journal Nature.