Brown to green - Assessing the G20 transition to a low-carbon economy

The effects of climate change, which we are already witnessing, are the consequence of rising concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs). At the moment, absolute emissions are still rising, caused by our overwhelmingly fossil fuel-based energy system (our “brown infrastructure”). From 1990 to 2013, G20 energy-related CO2 emissions – the most important GHG – increased by 56%. According to preliminary data from the International Energy Agency, global energy-related CO2 emissions, for the first time, stalled in 2014 and 2015. If global temperature increase is to be kept “well below 2°C, pursuing efforts to keep it below 1.5°C”, as the Paris Agreement mandates, then absolute G20 emissions must be drastically reduced in the near future.

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