The Indian Express

Head Line: The 1.5°C challenge

1) Mains Paper III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


  • IPCC report warns that global warming threat is more dire than anticipated.
  • According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for checking global warming will require major changes in the Paris Climate Pact’s targets.


The Paris Agreement on Climate Change and latest IPCC Report:

  • The 2015 agreement, which has become the cornerstone of climate change mitigation efforts worldwide, proposed to keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • But the report that was released on Sunday has found this threshold to be inadequate.
  • A more than 1.5°C warming will be precarious, and a 2°C rise would be catastrophic, the report warns.
  • The world, already 1°C hotter than what it was 150 years ago, could witness greater frequency of droughts and floods, more intense tropical cyclones and increased ocean acidification and salinity if the planet heats by a further 0.5°C.
  • That could happen anytime between 2030 and 2050, the report cautions.
  • This means that current mitigation efforts — calibrated to stave off calamitous events by 2075 — will require drastic up-scaling.


What is worrying and IPCC recommendation:

  • The world is not even on course to meet the comparatively conservative demands of a 2°C-rise-in-temperature scenario.
  • In fact, one of the criticisms of the Paris Accord-mandated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) is that they are insufficient to meet these demands.
  • The IPCC, however, reckons that complete decarbonisation is not an impossible goal.
  • In a break from its tradition of not recommending policy prescriptions, the global body has called for up-scaling low-carbon technologies and increased energy efficiency.
  • Funding has been the Achilles’ heel of global climate change negotiations.
  • As of December 2017, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) — the main instrument of fulfilling the developed countries’ collective promise of putting $100 billion annually into the hat by 2020 — had disbursed less than 10 per cent of its commitment.
  • And in July, a meeting of the fund’s board ended without a decision on how to bolster the agency’s pool.

Way Forward:

  • afforestation and technology-centred approaches
  • sucking the greenhouse gas before it reaches the atmosphere
  • The imperative of making communities resilient in the face of global warming and the focus on novel technologies require that urgency is accorded to shoring up climate finances.
  • The rulebook of the Paris Climate Accord, that is slated to be finalised by the end of the year, is mandated to take care of financial concerns.


Head LineFact Check: For limiting global warming to 1.5°C, the four projected pathways

2) Mains Paper III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


  • Recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made projections for how the rise in global average temperatures can be restricted within 1.5°C of pre-industrial times.
  • It has presented four possible pathways involving Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in varying amounts.


The four projected pathways:

  • The pathways account separately for contributions of fossil fuel and industry, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), and removals in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU).
  • In each pathway, the global average temperature is projected to overshoot the 1.5°C target by some amount before returning to that level by the end of this century.

Each looks at a different scenario of the global energy demand:


  • A scenario in which social, business, and technological innovations result in lower energy demand up to 2050 while living standards rise, especially in the global South.
  • A down-sized energy system enables rapid decarbonisation of energy supply.
  • Afforestation is the only CDR option considered; neither fossil fuels with CCS nor BECCS are used.


A scenario with a broad focus on sustainability including:

  • energy intensity,
  • human development,
  • economic convergence and international cooperation,
  • shifts towards sustainable and healthy consumption patterns,
  • low-carbon technology innovation,
  • and well-managed land systems with limited societal acceptability for BECCS.


  • A middle-of-the-road scenario in which societal as well as technological development follows historical patterns.
  • Emissions reductions are mainly achieved by changing the way in which energy and products are produced, and to a lesser degree by reductions in demand.


  • A resource and energy-intensive scenario in which economic growth and globalization lead to widespread adoption of greenhouse-gas intensive lifestyles, including high demand for transportation fuels and livestock products.
  • Emissions reductions are mainly achieved through technological means, making strong use of CDR through the deployment of BECCS.



The Hindu

The Hindu