Carbon Neutrality in 2050 Means 50% GHG Reductions by 2030 Overshoot Not An Option Due to Melting Ice, Acidifying Oceans

Before Climate Summit, New Coalition Asks Governments to Listen to Science Partnership with 50x30 Governments to Raise the Bar

Virtual Launch Event: April 21, 15.30–17.00UTC/17.30–19.00 CEST/11.30AM–1PM EDT

En svensk text finns på denna sida Ny koalition för halverade klimatutsläpp till 2030

Thawing permafrost in polygonal tundra
Thawing permafrost in polygonal tundra. Photo: Gustaf Hugelius


A new coalition is urging governments to prevent long-term – and essentially permanent – dire global consequences from the Earth’s cryosphere (snow and ice) regions due to overshoot of the Paris climate goals, just as the U.S.-hosted Climate Summit begins. Called “50x30” (Fifty by Thirty) to reflect the need for 50% emissions reductions by the year 2030, the group partners with those few governments that meet the 50% bar. It includes leading science institutions from around the world that focus on cryosphere and climate impacts. Several governments have endorsed the 50x30 goals and their representatives, including COP-26 High-level Champion Nigel Topping, will speak at the April 21 launch.

Founding 50x30 scientific institutions include: the 130,000-member American Geophysical Union (AGU), Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), Bolin Centre/Stockholm University (Sweden), Bristol University Glaciology Centre (UK), Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London (UK), University of Massachusetts Amherst (U.S.), Climate Analytics (Germany), and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC, U.S.). Climate Analytics has identified the “1.5°C consistent” pathways needed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, analyzing current country commitments. The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI, Sweden/U.S.) provides administrative support.

Most countries now have pledged carbon “neutrality” by 2050, and even declared a “planetary emergency”; but a February report from the UNFCCC made clear that almost none are taking meaningful steps to get there. The IPCC in 2018 defined this as around 50% reductions by 2030 (IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C of Warming, SR1.5).  50X30 will raise up as models those few countries that have truly adopted the 50% by 2030 goal. It aims to expand the number of “50x30-consistent” governments from the current five – Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden and UK host COP-26 – to a far greater number by COP-26, in November in Glasgow.  

The Coalition will highlight the risks of overshoot from significant cryosphere feedbacks above even 1.5°C of warming; let alone the nearly 3°C resulting from current pledges that at best lead to 1–2% reductions by 2030.  Ultimately, Governments, additional scientific groups and civil society will be invited to endorse the 50x30 Mission Statement at www.50x30.net, which includes more information on the consequences of overshoot and how 50% reductions are achieved by current “50x30” governments.

The consequences from overshoot are dangerously underestimated.  While there are other impacts from higher temperature and CO2 levels, those from cryosphere stand out, nearly all causing global changes that cannot be reversed on human timescales: such as sea-level rise culminating at five, 15, 25 meters or more; severe polar ocean acidification lasting 50,000 years; loss of glacier- and snow-fed water resources for many centuries given the slowness of glacier recovery; and permafrost carbon emissions lasting one-two centuries.

WHAT:  Launch Event of 50x30 Coalition
Program and Speakers: www.50x30.net/launch-event
DATE:  Wednesday, April 21, 2021
TIME: 15.30–17.00UTC (17.30–19.00CEST, 11.30–13.00 EDT)
VIEW: Livestream links available from 15.15UTC at www.50x30.net.
The event will be livestreamed on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.

REGISTER: For a reminder, register at: www.50x30.net/launch-event

CONTACTS:
AGU | Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette, juliebg@geo.umass.edu
Hope Garland, news@agu.org
ARC (VUW) | Dr. Robert McKay, robert.mckay@vuw.ac.nz
Bolin Centre | Dr. Gustaf Hugelius, gustaf.hugelius@natgeo.su.se
Bristol Glaciology | Dr. Jonathan Bamber, j.bamber@bristol.ac.uk
Climate Analytics | Ela Smith, ela.smith@climateanalytics.org
Grantham Institute | Dr. Joeri Rogelj, j.rogelj@imperial.ac.uk
NSIDC | Audrey Payne, press@nsidc.org
UMass-Amherst | Ed Blaguszewski, edblag@umass.edu
General 50x30/ICCI | Ingeborg Pay (Norway), ingeborg@iccinet.org, +47-9428 0108
Eileen Kane (U.S.), eilieen@iccinet.org, +1-202-445-5343
Pam Pearson (Sweden/U.S.), ICCI Director, pam@iccinet.org