Sharing a quota on cumulative carbon emissions

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Any limit on future global warming is associated with a quota on cumulative global CO<inf>2</inf> 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
    JournalNature Climate Change
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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