Net Zero 2050
Net Zero 2050 is an ambitious scenario that limits global warming to 1.5 °C through stringent climate policies and innovation, reaching net zero CO₂ emissions around 2050. Some jurisdictions such as the US, EU and Japan reach net zero for all greenhouse gases by this point.
The Low Demand scenario assumes that significant behavioral changes, reducing energy demand, mitigate the pressure on the economic system to reach global net zero CO2 emissions around 2050.
Below 2 °C
Below 2 °C gradually increases the stringency of climate policies, giving a 67 % chance of limiting global warming to below 2 °C.
Delayed Transition assumes global annual emissions do not decrease until 2030. Strong policies are then needed to limit warming to below 2 °C. Negative emissions are limited.
Nationally Determined Contributions
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) includes all pledged policies even if not yet implemented.
Current Policies assumes that only currently implemented policies are preserved, leading to high physical risks.
The Fragmented World scenario assumes delayed and divergent climate policy ambition globally, leading to elevated transition risks in some countries and high physical risks everywhere due to the overall ineffectiveness of the transition.
Net Zero 2050
Reaching net-zero global CO₂ emissions by 2050 will require an ambitious transition across all sectors of the economy. Scenarios tend to emphasise the importance of decarbonising the electricity supply, increasing electricity use, increasing energy efficiency, and developing new technologies to tackle hard-to-abate emissions. Transition risks to the economy could result from higher emissions costs and changes in business and consumer preferences. Physical risks would be minimised.
Decarbonising the power sector is a central pillar of the transition to a net-zero carbon economy. It requires switching to alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind or nuclear, as well as some targeted deployment of carbon, capture and storage (CCS) for new and existing power plants. Complementary investment will also be needed in new grid management and storage solutions to ensure continued reliability. Fossil-fired power plants risk losing revenues and becoming stranded.
Continued emissions of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution have led to about 1.2 °C of global warming. Current temperatures are higher than at any time in the last 12,000 years. If no further climate policies are implemented both average and extreme temperature changes are expected throughout the 21st century. Under the NGFS Current Policies Scenario, global warming of 1.5 °C could be reached in the 2030s, 2 °C around 2050 and 3 °C in the 2090s. Such global warming is projected to lead to a non-linear increase in severe and irreversible climate impacts.
The Climate Impact Explorer provides first-hand access to projections of physical climate risks at the national and subnational level. Scenario and warming level dependent impacts are provided for chronic and acute climate changes, as well as direct damages for selected sectors.