Climate Change Chapter of the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction
Without new policies, by 2050, more disruptive climate change is likely to be locked in, with global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions projected to increase by 50%, primarily due to a 70% growth in energy-related CO2 emissions.
The atmospheric concentration of GHGs could reach 685 parts per million (ppm) by 2050. As a result, the global average temperature increase is projected to be 3°C to 6°C higher by the end of the century, exceeding the internationally agreed goal of limiting it to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
The GHG mitigation actions pledged by countries in the Cancún Agreements at the United Nations Climate Change Conference will not be enough to prevent the global average temperature from exceeding the 2°C threshold, unless very rapid and costly emission reductions are realised after 2020. Surpassing the 2°C threshold would alter precipitation patterns, increase glacier and permafrost melt, drive sea-level rise, and worsen the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.
This will hamper the ability of people and ecosystem to adapt.
Note: OECD AI: Group of OECD countries that are also part of “Annex I” of the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. industrialised countries.
BRIICS: Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, South Africa.
RoW: Rest of the world. Source: OECD Environmental Outlook Baseline; output from IMAGE/ ENV-Linkages.