President Barack Obama and other world leaders will meet in Paris later this month for a highly anticipated conference expected to yield a global treaty to fight global warming.
Obama wants a global climate deal to be a major part of his presidential legacy, and environmentalists want to see countries around the world pledge to phase out fossil fuels. But what U.N. treaty proponents are loathe to mention is just how little an impact current pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions will really have on warming.
Scientists and experts are increasingly critical of claims a U.N. treaty will do much of anything to stop global warming. The Daily Caller News Foundation has put together a list from three authoritative sources on just how small of an impact current CO2 pledges will have on global warming.
1. Cuts from the U.S., China, Europe and the rest of the world will only avoid 0.05 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century
A study by Danish professor Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center examined the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, countries submitted to the U.N. on how much they will reduce CO2 emissions in the coming years. Lomborg then compared the cuts to the “likely global policy output.” His results were very underwhelming.
“My major finding is that the total effect is very small: less than 0.05¬∞C difference by the end of the century,” Lomborg wrote in an article posted on the science blog Watts Up With that, refuting a liberal scientist’s critique of his research.
Lomborg’s study argues that, at most, a U.N. treaty will avoid 0.17 degrees Celsius of projected warming. The more pessimistic scenario laid out by Lomborg is that current INDCs will only avoid 0.048 degrees Celsius of projected warming. (This, of course, assumes all the models being used by climate experts make the right assumptions about climate sensitivity and future policies.)
“Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades,” Lomborg wrote in his study. “[T]he emissions reductions promised until 2030 will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades. This clearly indicates that if we want to reduce climate impacts significantly, we will have to find better ways than the ones currently proposed.”