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Climate Scenarios: Unpacking the 1.5°C Pathways

The 1.5°C level is a critical limit for climate regulation around the globe, as the landmark 2015 Paris Accord aimed to hold down global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The three main scenario data providers focusing on 1.5°C scenarios outline different paths to reach that goal, in terms of emissions reduction, timing and other variables. These differences often arise due to the range of assumptions applied to the frameworks, as well as the various ways the integrated assessment models (IAMs) simulate various building blocks and the interactions among them.

In this paper, we study how the scenarios differ qualitatively (i.e., in assumptions, high-level modeling choices, etc.), as well as quantitatively (i.e., emissions, energy use, carbon pricing, and other outputs).

Climate Specialist
Senior Research Analyst, Global Equity Beta Solutions

We focus our attention on scenarios from three providers: the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). All scenarios considered here are characterised by a temperature outcome of 1.5 oC with no or low overshoot (50% probability).1

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Climate Scenarios: Unpacking the 1.5°C Pathways

What will take global climate to the 1.5°C level? Read what three prolific climate data providers have to say on this.

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