EU emission reforms slow global warming

25th April 2018


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alan tootill

The world is on course for a 4˚C temperature increase above pre-industrial levels, according to research by Schroders, down from the 4.1˚C rise predicted by the company at the end of 2017.

The investment firm said reforms made last November to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted in the EU helped slow the expected pace of global warming.

It is the first time that Schroders has forecast potentially lower temperatures, with the firm’s head of sustainable research, Andrew Howard, warning that further reductions are needed to reach “safe levels”.

“Spurred in part by reforms to the EU’s carbon allowances last autumn, carbon prices have risen sharply in recent months,” he said.

“They still have a long way to go before providing a real incentive to cut emissions on the scale needed to limit temperature rises to 2˚C.”

The temperature predictions are based on Schroders’ Climate Progress Dashboard, which is designed to give investors an insight into how successfully governments and industries are delivering the Paris Agreement.

This is measured based on a range of indicators, including political ambition, coal production, public concern and renewable energy capacity.

It highlights how, by the end of March, EU carbon prices reached over $15/tonne for the first time since 2010, with Schroders estimating this will have to hit close to $100/tonne to incentivise emission reductions on the scale needed.

Along with the EU carbon emission reforms, strong growth in electric cars sales this year were also a key factor behind the marginally better outlook for future temperature increases.

However, public concern globally for climate change issues ebbed during the latest quarter.

The research highlights an influential survey in the US that found worries over the impact of global warming had waned, while internet searches for climate change have fallen to half the highs reached 18 months ago.

“This quarter has marked the first drop in the temperature rise implied by the Climate Progress Dashboard, but the improvement is marginal relative to the reductions still needed,” Howard added.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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