CAN Position: Long Term Global Goals for 2050, June 2014

Climate Action Network calls for phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all, as early as possible, but not later than 2050.

Climate change is here, now, and is a matter of survival. The recently released Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes the impacts of climate change on the planet, people and nature in much more detail and with even more robust science.  Some present and projected future impacts, such as those on food security, sea level rise or ocean acidification, are occurring with more intensity than previously anticipated. These impacts will be disruptive for all countries; especially for the global poor and vulnerable peoples.

The agreement to be reached at COP 21 in Paris must signal the end of the fossil fuel era and an accelerated transition to a 100% renewable energy future for all by 2050.  The cornerstone of this legally binding agreement must be ambitious mitigation commitments and actions from all countries, the nature and stringency of which will vary depending on their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC).

In order to achieve deep emission reductions, action needs to start now with peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2015. This is extremely critical for long-term climate stability. Any delay in peaking will make achieving the lowest levels of warming even more challenging, will substantially increase costs of mitigation and adaptation efforts, and may necessitate the need for environmentally and socially questionable technologies to be deployed in order to reduce emissions. While near-term emission reductions are necessary to keep the door open to limiting warming below 1.5°C, long-term emission pathways are critical to its achievement.   Therefore, in addition to ambitious near-term action, Paris must also outline a vision for a carbon emissions-free future in the form of a binding long-term goal. 

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