In 2010, world governments agreed that carbon emissions needed to be reduced so that global temperature increases were limited to below 2°C. Action is being taken to work towards this goal, but not enough is yet being done and some of the most vulnerable call for a 1.5°C limit.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
The IPCC continues to update their evidence and findings and continues to publish reports agreed by panels of the world’s leading scientists. In 2014 the IPCC concluded:
“Without additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally.
“There are multiple mitigation pathways that are likely to limit warming to below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels. These pathways would require substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades and near zero emissions of carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases by the end of the century.”