A global climate commission focuses on the impact of exceeding 1.5°C
An independent group of Northern and Southern ex-leaders, chaired by Pascal Lamy, will recommend a strategy to reduce the risks from a rise in temperature above the Paris Agreement's most ambitious target.
It's a threshold associated with our ability to maintain a "livable future", a matter of "life or death" for small developing islands... Yet it is now almost inevitable that the Paris Agreement's most ambitious target will soon be passed: global warming is expected to exceed 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era within this decade or the next.
A global commission on the governance of risks related to excess climate change (the Climate Overshoot Commission) was launched on Tuesday, May 17, to start thinking about "the aftermath." This independent group of 16 members, mainly former leaders of countries in the North, but most importantly, countries in the South, will aim to develop a global strategy to reduce the risks associated with exceeding the 1.5°C threshold, by examining the benefits, costs and challenges of each one of the possible solutions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) never ceased on repeating it: every fraction of a degree counts and worsens the impacts of global warming. To try to get back below the 1.5°C threshold after exceeding it, countries must drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions immediately. Capture and storage technologies which recover CO2 from flue gases, will also be necessary. As will removal of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, through tree planting or direct capture from the air.
"We will think about how governance could provide a framework for adaptation to climate change, along with carbon capture, and solar geoengineering - a technology that is unproven at this stage," says Pascal Lamy, the president of the new commission, and chairman of the Paris Peace Forum, which hosts the commission. Although reduction of emissions "remains the priority," confirms Mr. Lamy, "the structure should not directly address this. The paths of decarbonization are already framed by the Paris Agreement and negotiated each year at the climate conferences."