Sharing a quota on cumulative carbon emissions

Michael R. Raupach, Steven J. Davis, Glen P. Peters, Robbie M. Andrew, Josep G. Canadell, Philippe Ciais, Pierre Friedlingstein, Frank Jotzo, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Corinne Le Quéré

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267 Citations (Scopus)


Any limit on future global warming is associated with a quota on cumulative global CO emissions. We translate this global carbon quota to regional and national scales, on a spectrum of sharing principles that extends from continuation of the present distribution of emissions to an equal per-capita distribution of cumulative emissions. A blend of these endpoints emerges as the most viable option. For a carbon quota consistent with a 2°C warming limit (relative to pre-industrial levels), the necessary long-term mitigation rates are very challenging (typically over 5% per year), both because of strong limits on future emissions from the global carbon quota and also the likely short-term persistence in emissions growth in many regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-879
Number of pages7
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number10
Early online date21 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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