In the absence of more aggressive global initiatives targeting climate change in the future, “more disruptive climate change is likely to be locked in” by 2050, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Released on Mar. 15, the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences to Action suggests that by 2050, the Earth’s population is expected to increase from 7 billion to more than 9 billion people.
Without new policy action, the OECD predicts a world economy four times larger than it is today is projected to use about 80% more energy in 2050. In turn, that means global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are projected to increase by 50% by 2050, primarily due to a 70% growth in CO2 emissions from energy use.
In the absence of more ambitious climate change policies, the OECD report says, the global average temperature increase is projected to be 3 C to 6 C higher by the end of the century.
“A temperature increase of more than 2 C would alter precipitation patterns; increase glacier and permafrost melt; drive sea-level rise; worsen the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and hurricanes; and become the greatest driver of biodiversity loss,” the report says.
“The economy will not decarbonise itself,” the report continues. “Without new, more effective policies, the mix of energy technologies will not change significantly by 2050, with the share of fossil fuel-based energy remaining at 85%.”