Low Carbon Economy Index reveals 2°C target is unrealistic

Low Carbon Economy Index reveals 2°C target is unrealistic

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Date: 9th November 2012
Author: CDKN Global
Type: News
Organisation: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Countries: Africa, Asia

PwC’s latest Low Carbon Economy Index reveals that our current rate of decarbonisation is falling well short of ambitions for avoiding dangerous climate change, as Jonathan Grant, Director, Sustainability & Climate Change at PwCreveals.


PwC has just published its fourth annual Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI) which evaluates countries’ progress down the low carbon pathway. Our findings this year are stark:

  • Emissions per unit of GDP have fallen by 0.8% per year on average since 2000; to limit warming to two degrees we need to reduce emissions by 5.1% every year to 2050. This rate of reduction has never been achieved since records began in 1950.
  • Even if we double our current rate of decarbonisation we will still be on track for six degrees of warming
  • The two-degrees target agreed by all governments now looks highly unrealistic.

Our analysis shows that it’s time to plan for a warmer world. But giving up on national action and international negotiations is clearly not an option. We can see that for the businesses, NGOs and policy makers we work with climate change is still on the agenda. But we need more progress, faster. Only last week we hosted a debate of senior policy makers, business leaders and academics on building consensus in the climate talks in order to identify options for progress.

Ultimately, to achieve change at scale, we have to start with opportunities not just costs, with the local not just the global and with development not just emissions reductions. For example, climate-smart agriculture has the potential to transform the productivity of farming and sustain economic development. Solutions such as this exist in other sectors across the world. We need to harness these, to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

For more information on the Low Carbon Economy Index, see PwC's website

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