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We have 32 years left to solve climate change. That’s one of the key takeaways from the 2017 Global Carbon Budget, an annual report that “brings together scientists and climate data from around the world to develop the most complete picture available of global greenhouse gas emissions,” according to its authors.
The 32-year point comes from the generally agreed-upon (but sometimes disputed) idea that, to prevent irreversible negative impacts, global temperatures must be kept from rising 2℃ above pre-industrial levels. Humans have already warmed the world 1℃, so to prevent that extra degree “requires net zero global emissions soon after 2050,” the report’s authors say. In other words, by 2050, the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere across the world must match the amount being taken out of the atmosphere. So, along with reducing emissions, we have to remove existing carbon by using technologies like carbon capture and storage, reducing deforestation, or planting carbon forests. This is a difficult task, but not impossible.

We have 32 years left to solve climate change.

That’s one of the key takeaways from the 2017 Global Carbon Budget, an annual report that “brings together scientists and climate data from around the world to develop the most complete picture available of global greenhouse gas emissions,” according to its authors. The 32-year point comes from the…


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