Consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) are warning that efforts to contain climate change are not hitting the mark.
Too late for two degrees?
The annual PwC Low Carbon Economy Index centres on one core statistic: the rate of change of global carbon intensity. This year we estimated that the required improvement in global carbon intensity to meet a 2ºC warming target has risen to 5.1% a year, from now to 2050.
We have passed a critical threshold – not once since 1950 has the world achieved that rate of decarbonisation in a single year, but the task now confronting us is to achieve it for 39 consecutive years.
The 2011 rate of improvement in carbon intensity was 0.8%. Even doubling our rate of decarbonisation, would still lead to emissions consistent with six degrees of warming. To give ourselves a more than 50% chance of avoiding two degrees will require a six-fold improvement in our rate of decarbonisation.