Plumer reads through a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report (pdf), which calculated that “the world is steadily becoming less and less carbon-intensive.” That means “we need to burn fewer fossil fuels to generate a dollar’s worth of economic activity”:
But here’s the bad news: Carbon intensity isn’t falling fast enough. Between 2000 and 2013, carbon intensity fell by 0.9 percent per year. Last year, it fell by 1.2 percent. But the global economy grew fast enough to overcome that, so overall emissions rose. If these trends continue, we’re on track for about 4°C of global warming in the future, which many scientists have deemed extremely dangerous.
By contrast, if the world wants to a) keep growing and b)avoid more than 2°C of global warming (which is the current international goal), then carbon intensity will have to decline much, much faster — by roughly 6.2 percent per year between now and 2050.
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