OPEC estimates that emissions peak and then decrease, but too little, too late

According to the IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, which was endorsed by 195 IPCC member governments and released last month, scientists are observing changes in Earth’s climate in every region and across the climate system.

Many of these observed changes in climate are unprecedented for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some that are already underway, such as continued sea level rise, are irreversible for hundreds or even more. thousands of years.

However, strong and sustained reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions would limit climate change. While the benefits to air quality would occur quickly, it could take 20 to 30 years for global temperatures to stabilize.

What are the chances of seeing strong and sustainable emission reductions?

In 2019, global annual carbon dioxide emissions totaled 36.4 billion tonnes. Predictions from various organizations predict that annual emissions will reach between 40 and 50 billion tonnes per year by 2050, but OPEC‘s estimates are probably the most reliable because they sell oil. It predicts that emissions will reach 40 billion metric tonnes per year by 2032, then fall back to the 2019 level of 36 billion tonnes by 2050.

OPEC’s forecast is probably more realistic as the effects of global warming will likely reduce demand, but this still does not represent a strong and sustained reduction in emissions. Even with this more conservative estimate, cumulative carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 760 billion metric tonnes, which will translate into an increase in the global carbon dioxide concentration of 50 ppm, which will take us to 465 ppm. But perhaps the effects of global warming will have an even deeper effect on energy demand.

Even today, the level of carbon dioxide is higher than what the Earth has experienced in 3 million years, at a time when the average surface temperature of the planet was 2 to 3 degrees higher than ‘today and the sea level was 53 feet higher.

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