Pathways after Paris

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research has analysed for the UK’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy some key research questions related to the implementation of the UN Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 and of the UK’s contribution. We have provided an assessment of some of the avoided global and regional impacts of achieving the Paris Goal, we have analysed new energy and CO2 pathways that limit climate change to 1.5oC and 2.0oC warming (the Paris Goal) and we have put these in the context of existing studies. We also examined some of the technical and societal innovations required to support such energy transformations.

PDF icon Briefing note overview of "The implications of global warming of 1.5 and 2 degrees summary report"
PDF icon Rachel Warren et al (2018) Risks associated with global warming of 1.5°C or 2°C. Tyndall Centre Briefing Note. May 2018. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia

Download Communication Materials: 
PDF icon Infographic: Reduced climate impacts from the Paris Agreement
PDF icon Infographic: Decarbonisation to meet the Paris Agreement
PDF icon Infographic: Biomass Energy Carbon Capture and the Paris Agreement
PDF icon Poster: Achieving the Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal


ScienceBrief is a web platform that helps keep up with science. It is written by scientists. ScienceBrief has been developed and used in this project to show the state of scientific consensus and controversies on key climate topics with peer-reviewed publications. See the latest Briefs here

ScienceBrief experts are being asked to assess three questions of existing and new peer-reviewed publications to inform the Paris Agreement. This emerging topic is analysed the scientific literature and its significance to these questions over the next 2 years.

1) What are the impacts of climate change of 1.5 compared to 2 degrees Celsius? The impacts of climate change will differ depending on the level and rate of warming. What differences are there for global warming of 2°C compared to 1.5°C? Can they be distinguished? What are the regional differences? What are the options for adaptation? What are the associated costs and implications for society and ecosystems?

2) What are the transformation pathways for limiting climate change to 1.5 compared to 2 degrees Celsius? Limiting climate change to 1.5°C compared to 2°C will require faster and deeper rates of global decarbonisation. What are the options, requirements and challenges by sector? What are the policies, actions and financial mechanisms for supporting transformation? What major technological developments are required and how feasible are they? What is the cost of the incremental effort of limiting warming to 2°C compared to 1.5°C? What are the co-benefits? What are the major uncertainties and how can they be reduced or mitigated?

3) What is the Global potential for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere? Emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) need to be brought down to near zero to tackle climate change. Removing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere could help deliver on zero emissions, provided they are of sufficient scale and they do not interfere significantly with other societal priority such as food production. What is the potential for various methods proposed to remove GHG from the atmosphere? What is their current technological, demonstration, and deployment status? What are the potential implications for other societal needs, in particular the Sustainable Development Goals?

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Andrews, O., Le Quéré, C., Kjellstrom, T., Lemke, B. and Haines, A., 2018. Implications for workability and survivability in populations exposed to extreme heat under climate change: a modelling studyThe Lancet Planetary Health2(12), pp.e540-e547. 

Brown, S., Nicholls, R.J., Goodwin, P., Haigh, I.D., Lincke, D., Vafeidis, A.T. and Hinkel, J., 2018. Quantifying land and people exposed to sea‐level rise with no mitigation and 1.5 C and 2.0 C rise in global temperatures to year 2300Earth's Future6(3), pp.583-600.

Colón-González, FJ., Harris, I., Osborn, TJ., Steiner São Bernardo, C., Peres, CA., Hunter, PR., and Lake, IR. (2018). Health benefits of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels: dengue fever in Latin America. PNAS 2018 Jun 12;115(24):6243-6248

Le Quéré, C., Korsbakken, J.I., Wilson, C., Tosun, J., Andrew, R., Andres, R.J., Canadell, J.G., Jordan, A., Peters, G.P. and van Vuuren, D.P., 2019. Drivers of declining CO 2 emissions in 18 developed economiesNature Climate Change9(3), pp.213-217.

Nicholls, RJ., Brown, S., Goodwin, P., Wahl, T., Lowe, J., Solan, M., Godbold, JA., Haigh, ID., Lincke, D., Hinkel, J., Wolff, C., Merkens, J-L. (2018)  Stabilisation of global temperature at 1.5°C and 2.0°C: Implications for coastal areasPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 2018 May 13;376 (2119)

Peters  G.P. and Andrew, R., (2018). Implications of global pathways for regional and UK emissions. Internal Project Deliverable Report (internally reviewed)

Sharmina, M., Edelenbosch, O.Y., Wilson, C., Freeman, R., Gernaat, D.E.H.J., Gilbert, P., Larkin, A., Littleton, E.W., Traut, M., Van Vuuren, D.P. and Vaughan, N.E., 2020. Decarbonising the critical sectors of aviation, shipping, road freight and industry to limit warming to 1.5–2° CClimate Policy, pp.1-20.

van Vuuren, D., Hof A., Gernaat, D., Sytze de Boer., H (2018) Limiting global temperature change to 1.5 °C Implications for carbon budgets, emission pathways, and energy transitions. Briefing Note (internally reviewed)

Vaughan, N.E., Gough, C., Mander, S., Littleton, E.W., Welfle, A., Gernaat, D.E. and Van Vuuren, D.P., 2018. Evaluating the use of biomass energy with carbon capture and storage in low emission scenariosEnvironmental Research Letters13(4), p.044014.

Warren R., (2018) Quantifying implications of limiting global warming to 1.5 or 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Resubmitted, Nature Climate Change

Warren, R., Price, J., Graham, E., Forstenhaeusler, N. and VanDerWal, J., 2018. The projected effect on insects, vertebrates, and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5 C rather than 2 CScience360(6390), pp.791-795.

Wilson, C., Pettifor, H., Cassar, E., Kerr, L. and Wilson, M., 2019. The potential contribution of disruptive low-carbon innovations to 1.5 C climate mitigation. Energy Efficiency12(2), pp.423-440.


Download the full report summarising this work:

Robert T. Watson and Corinne Le Quéré (2018) The implications of global warming of 1.5 and 2 degrees Summary Report, Tyndall Centre Working Paper 164, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia