Going beyond two degrees? The risks and opportunities of alternative options

TitleGoing beyond two degrees? The risks and opportunities of alternative options
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWhitmarsh, L, Vaughan, N, Le Quéré, C, Mander, S, Joshi, M, Jordan, A, Rayner, T, Schreiber, H, Adger, WN, Anderson, K, Larkin, A
JournalClimate Policy
Start Page751
Keywordsadaptation policy, climate policy, global warming, governance, mitigation policy, post-2012 negotiations, risk governance, two degrees, UNFCCC

Since the mid-1990s, the aim of keeping climate change within 2 °C has become firmly entrenched in policy discourses. In the past few years, the likelihood of achieving it has been increasingly called into question. The debate around what to do with a target that seems less and less achievable is, however, only just beginning. As the UN commences a two-year review of the 2 °C target, this article moves beyondthe somewhat binary debates about whether or not it should or will be met, in order to analyse more fully some of thealternativeoptions that have been identified but not fully explored in the existing literature. For the first time, uncertainties, risks, and opportunities associated with four such options are identified and synthesized from the literature. The analysis finds that the significant risks and uncertainties associated with some options may encourage decision makers to recommit to the 2 °C target as the least unattractive course of action. © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.