Climate change targets: 350 ppm and the EU two-degree target
How does this compare to the EU target to limit the increase in global temperature to a maximum of 2 degrees centigrade over pre-industrial levels?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its 4th Assessment report, has indicated that achieving the 2 ºC target will mean stabilising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at about 445 to 490 ppm CO2-equivalents. This includes a number of greenhouse gases (not only carbon dioxide), and corresponds to about 400 ppm CO2 alone. A stabilisation at 400 ppm CO2-equivalents corresponds to about 350 ppm CO2.
To get to the 350 ppm CO2 target put forward by Dr Hansen, the total greenhouse gas concentration will need to fall to about 400 ppm CO2-equivalents. This is at the low end of a range of stabilisation concentration possibilities and is fully compatible with the EU 2-degrees-centigrade target.
The Tällberg Forum is holding an international conference in Sweden from 26 to 29 June 2008 to discuss how to achieve this lower level through 'The Perfect Agreement and its Perfect Implementation' as an idealised design of a global deal that will serve as a benchmark for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Convention is aiming to reach an international climate change agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009.
James Hansen (who is addressing the US Congress to raise awareness on the 350 ppm target) and Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General are among King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden's guests at the Tällberg Forum.
- EEA core set of indicators
- IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2008
- Scientific paper by James Hansen et al. "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?"
- Tällberg Forum
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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