Carbon budgeting is just one option to help fight climate change as it gives a clear relationship between emissions and warming. A carbon budget is similar to a typical financial budget. The budget tells us how much carbon dioxide we have left to emit in order to stay below a certain level of warming.
Under the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change, the global target is to limit warming to 2 C. However, many countries are making efforts to limit that even further to 1.5 C above pre-industrial temperatures. According to the latest United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the estimated remaining carbon budget is between 400-500 gigatons of CO2.
A distinguished professor of climate science at Simon Fraser University, Kirsten Zickfield said “we’re currently burning about 40 gigatons of carbon dioxide globally per year. So this means that if we pick the 400 number, then we have 10 years’ worth of current global emissions.”
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