The likelihood the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C can be achieved is around two-thirds.
That’s according to new research by scientists from the University of Oxford, who say the world is being polluted and warming up less quickly than forecasts from a decade ago predicted.
According to the older models used to draw up the agreement, the world ought now to be 1.3°C above the mid-19th-Century average, whereas recent observations suggest it is actually between 0.9°C to 1°C above.
Other developments, such as the increasing production of power from renewable sources, have also contributed to the more positive outlook.
However, Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at Oxford University, told ELN there is still no time to waste – although the goal is “geophysically and technically feasible”, there are still a wide range of economic and political barriers to be overcome.
They say to hit the limit, emissions need to decline to below current levels before 2030, after which point they will need to drop more sharply.