CO2 levels have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from burning fossil fuels and net land use change. Since pre-industrialisation, we have emitted over 582 billion tonnes of carbon into our atmosphere. To stay below 2°C warming, we must limit cumulative emissions to 1 trillion tonnes of carbon (3.67 trillion tonnes of CO2). Since 2010 we have surpassed 50 billion tonnes of CO2 of total greenhouse gas emissions per annum driven by a rising trend from energy demand. At this fixed rate we will have burned through the remaining carbon budget in less than 30 years.
To avert more than 2°C global warming and the associated risks of such scenarios we must stem the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a net zero emission society by the end of this century. This is a great challenge for us as it implies the transformation of energy, industry, agriculture and forestry systems. We expect WBCSD members to lead and prosper in this transformation towards a
more sustainable society.