In the absence of policies, global warming is expected to reach 4.1°C – 4.8°C above pre-industrial by the end of the century. The emissions that drive this warming are often called Baseline scenarios (‘Baselines’ in the above figure) and are taken from the IPCC AR5 Working Group III. Current policies presently in place around the world are projected to reduce baseline emissions and result in about 3.0°C1 warming above pre-industrial levels. The unconditional pledges and targets that governments have made, including NDCs2 as of December 2019, would limit warming to about 2.8°C3 above pre-industrial levels, or in probabilistic terms, likely (66% or greater chance) limit warming below 3.0°C. Warming estimates have fallen by 0.1-0.2°C compared to the CAT’s September 2019 update. However, the reason is largely methodological changes and data updates rather than any major scaling-up of climate action.

Jack Wedge