Enviornment Prelims cum Mains

Fact Check: For limiting global warming to 1.5°C, the four projected pathways


  • In its report released at the end of a meeting in Seoul, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made projections for how the rise in global average temperatures can be restricted within 1.5°C of pre-industrial times.


About Pathways

  • In each pathway, the global average temperature is projected to overshoot the 1.5°C target by some amount before returning to that level by the end of this century.
  • The pathways account separately for contributions of fossil fuel and industry, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), and removals in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU).


Four Pathways

As shown in the graphs, the pathways involve Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in varying amounts.



  • In this scenario, social, business, and technological innovations will result in lower energy demand up to 2050 while living standards rise, especially in the global South.
  • A down-sized energy system enables rapid decarbonisation of energy supply.
  • Afforestation is the only Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) option considered; neither fossil fuels with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) nor Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) are used.



  • A scenario with a broad focus on sustainability including energy intensity, human development, economic convergence and international cooperation, and shifts towards sustainable and healthy consumption patterns, low-carbon technology innovation, well-managed land systems with limited societal acceptability for BECCS.



  • This one is the middle-of-the-road scenario in which societal as well as technological development follows historical patterns.
  • Emissions reductions are mainly achieved by changing the way in which energy and products are produced, and to a lesser degree by reductions in demand.



  • It is a resource and energy-intensive scenario in which economic growth and globalization lead to widespread adoption of greenhouse-gas intensive lifestyles, including high demand for transportation fuels and livestock products.
  • Emissions reductions are mainly achieved through technological means, making strong use of CDR through the deployment of BECCS.

Way Forward

To limit the GHG emission and keep the temperature within the targeted limits, it is important to have multipronged and focussed approaches.

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