The Trillion-Ton Cap: Allocating The World’s Carbon Emissions

The U.N. climate panel concluded last month that carbon emissions should be capped at a trillion tons, a total the world is rapidly approaching. Now comes the hard part: How will we decide how the remaining emissions are apportioned? The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the first time sets a cap on the amount of carbon emissions we can allow into the atmosphere before calling a complete and permanent halt ­ if, that is, we are serious about keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius. That cap was set last month at a trillion tons of carbon. We are something over half way there, with time fast running out.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Let’s Save Each Other

Let’s Save Each Other

Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission