Jun 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The huge gap between today's policies and Paris goals

Data: Resources for the Future report; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The think tank Resources for the Future on Tuesday released its latest report comparing various projections and scenarios around emissions, energy demand and more.

The big picture: The energy analyst hive mind is pretty united around the conclusion that nations' current and planned climate policies won't come close to meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal.

The report provides an apples-to-apples comparison of many projections from companies, forecasting bodies and other actors.

Why it matters: "Despite efforts by policymakers in some nations to stimulate a 'green' recovery, far greater effort will be required to spur the scale and speed of technological change necessary to limit warming to 1.5° or 2° Celsius by 2100," RFF notes.

How it works: The report breaks down analyses from the International Energy Agency, energy companies BP and Equinor, the United Nation's climate science body, the research firm BloombergNEF, and more.

  • The analysis includes projections of where emissions, oil demand, renewables uptake, and so forth are heading — and the changes needed to limit global temperature rise to 2°C or 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.
  • The left side of the chart above shows current and evolving policies — the latter a case where policies and tech follows recent trends. The right side is scenarios of where things would need to head to reach the Paris goals.

The bottom line: It's an enormous gap.

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