According to the IPCC report, however, far deeper cuts – resulting in net zero emissions by 2050 – will be required if the world is to avoid warming beyond 1.5C. Scientists have warned that the enormous changes in energy, transportation and land use required to meet this goal are technically possible, but currently appear unlikely.
“Keeping warming below 1.5C will be very, very hard,” said Dessler. “It’s going to take a reimagining of how the world is constructed around us and we are lacking imagination. Fundamentally, we need to change the politicians in Washington. That’s the key.”