SEI Publication

Author(s): Kartha, S.; Siebert, C.K; Mathur, R.; Nakicenovic, N.; Ramanathan, V.; Rockström, J.; Schellnhuber, H.J; Srivastava, L.; Watt, R.

Year: 2009

In: Report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Stockholm Environment Institute, and The Energy and Resources Institute

Type: Report



Link to SEI authors:

A Copenhagen Prognosis: Towards a safe climate future

This report presents a concise diagnosis of the state of the bioshpere and observed trends and offers a treatment plan that is consistent with a 2°C warming threshold, equity and economic development.

Among its key conclusions are that:

- Emerging scientific results suggest that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions targets currently being tabled are not consistent with the expressed political will to protect humanity against high risks of devastating climate impacts and significant risks of self-amplifying global warming.

- Based on the available carbon budget, and if we are to have a good (75 per cent) chance for warming to stay below 2°C, global GHG emissions would almost certainly need to decline extremely rapidly after 2015, and reach essentially zero by midcentury.

- There is no evidence suggesting it is impossible to rise to this challenge. To the contrary, the growing body of analytical work examining such scenarios at the global and regional level suggest it is not only technically feasible but also economically affordable, even profitable.

- The Prognosis addresses head on the issue of an equitable deal, and goes on to describe some of the ways in which deep emission cuts are practically and economically feasible, in developed and developing countries, says Professor Johan Rockström, executive director, SEI.  

The Prognosis was developed by a group of the world’s leading scientists and researchers on global change, including Professor John Schellnhuber (PIK), Professor Johan Rockström (SEI), Professor Nebojsa Nakicenovic (IIASA), Dr Leena Srivastava (TERI) and Professor V. Ramanathan (Scripps Institution of Oceanography).  In addition, it has been endorsed by the German Development Institute and leading climate scholars such as Professor Matt England (University of New South Wales) and Professor Jim McCarthy (Harvard).

Download report (pdf, 1,10 mb)

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