Expect 2°C Temperature Rise by Mid-Century, Club of Rome Report Says
Adding to the pile of predictions that, because of current inaction to combat climate change, we're more of less assured that dangerous temperature rise is just over the horizon is the Club of Rome.
The think tank's new report, 2052: Shaping Our Future, forecasts that by 2052 we will have passed the critical warming threshold of 2°C, after which climate scientists believe that essentially many aspects of our global climate will become unhinged, with dangerous consequences.
By 2080, at the way we're currently going—and report author Jorgen Randers doesn't think enough will be done to really change that course—the report notes we will have cruised passed 2.8°C temperature rise.
Population Growth to Peak by 2042 at 8.1 Billion
Though the report foresees the human population peaking at about 8.1 billion people about 20 years from now—lower than UN predictions, and good news—resource consumption and emissions will continue to be well past what can be absorbed by the planet without damaging the future ability to do so. The lower than expected population peak will come because of declining fertility rates in urban areas.
China Continues Its Rise, While US & EU Consumption Declines
On resource consumption, by mid-century China will be consuming resources at two-thirds the rate of the United States, with consumption in the US and the EU remaining stable or declining slightly. Growth in natural resource consumption and emissions of 14 emerging economies, including Brazil, India and South Africa, will continue growing until the 2040s.
Though this increase in consumption will improve the lives of many people, the report says that by 2052, there will still be 3 billion people living in poverty across the globe.
New Governance Structures Needed
The main source of future problems will be the continued prioritization of short-term goals over long-term planning.
Randers says, in summary:
We need a system of governance that takes a more long-term view. Its unlikely that governments will pass necessary regulation to force markets to allocate more money into climate friendly solutions, and must not assume that markets will work for the benefit of humankind.
We already live in a manner that cannot be continued without major change. Humanity has overshot the Earth's resources, and in some cases we will see local collapse before 2052.