31 Jul 2023, 13:30
Julian Wettengel

Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C “politically no longer manageable” – climate scientist

Dlf / Spiegel / dpa

The Paris Climate Agreement’s aim to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius is “politically basically no longer manageable,” Stefan Rahmstorf, climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), said in an interview with public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk (Dlf). “Physically, we can still achieve it, but to do so we would have to tackle it in the same way as when we are in a war situation. It would have to be the top priority to maintain the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit,” Rahmstorf said. “Realistically, of course, the vast majority of governments do not treat this as a top priority, so we will definitely not achieve it,” he added.

In an interview with German news magazine Spiegel, the newly appointed head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jim Skea, warned against overstating the threat surpassing 1.5°C would pose to humanity. “We should not despair and fall into a state of shock" if global temperatures were to increase beyond 1.5°C. Separately, Skea told news agency dpa: “Constantly just sending out the message that we are all doomed paralyses people and stops them from taking the necessary action to deal with climate change.”

Climate scientist Oliver Geden recently warned that people should “start looking seriously at the world beyond a 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise,” adding that even in the event of surpassing the limit, “every tenth of a degree will be important.” In the landmark 2015 international climate accord – the Paris Agreement – signatory countries agreed to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Sören Amelang

Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee