Can We Limit Global Warming To 1.5 Degrees?
The world could still, theoretically, meet its goal of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, a level many scientists consider a dangerous threshold. Realistically, that's unlikely to happen. Part of the problem was evident at COP27, the United Nations climate conference in Egypt. While nations' climate negotiators were successfully fighting to "keep 1.5 alive" as the global goal in the official agreement, reached Nov. 20, 2022, some of their countries were negotiating new fossil fuel deals, driven in part by the global energy crisis. Any expansion of fossil fuels – the primary driver of climate change – makes keeping warming under 1.5 C (2.7 Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times much harder. Attempts at the climate talks to get all countries to agree to phase out coal, oil, natural gas and all fossil fuel subsidies failed. And countries have done little to strengthen their commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the past year. There have been positive moves, including advances in technology, falling prices for renewable energy and countries committing to cut their methane emissions.