Full Title: Lost in Translation: Lessons from the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment on the Urgent Transition from Fossil Fuels and the Risks of Misplaced Reliance on False Solutions
Author(s): Center for International Environmental Law
Publisher(s): Center for International Environmental Law and the Heinrich Böll Foundation
Publication Date: March 21, 2023
Full Text: Download Resource
The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) unequivocally warns that exceeding 1.5°C warming (overshoot) has dangerous and irreversible consequences, even if temperatures might eventually be brought back below that level. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report clearly sets out the near-term actions and fossil fuel phaseout required to keep temperature rise below 1.5°C, with minimal to no overshoot.
Most IPCC scenarios rely on large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to bring temperatures back below a certain threshold in the second half of the century. At the same time, AR6 provides clear warnings about the technological infeasibility, significant financial and environmental costs, and human rights impacts of large-scale CDR. Because of how they are designed, IPCC models and future mitigation scenarios disproportionately favor CDR and carbon capture and storage (CCS), particularly technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) that have huge environmental costs and may not ever be feasible at scale. However, other models and other futures are possible and necessary.