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IPCC: Many Pathways to Reduce Climate Change

The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to unprecedented levels, despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change. Nevertheless, a wide array of technological measures and behavioral changes could limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
 
The report finds, however, that only major institutional and technological change will give a better-than-even chance that global warming will not exceed this threshold. Scenarios show that limiting the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius would mean lowering global greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70 percent (compared with 2010) by mid-century, and to near-zero by the end of this century. Ambitious mitigation could require removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 
 
“Many different pathways lead to a future within the boundaries set by the two degrees Celsius goal,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, which produced the report. “All of these require substantial investments. Avoiding further delays in mitigation and making use of a broad variety of technologies can limit the associated costs.” 
 
The report, entitled Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, is the third of three Working Group reports, which, along with a Synthesis Report due in October 2014, constitute the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on climate change. The first two Working Group reports focused on the physical science basis for climate change and climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation, respectively.

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