Climate Progress Dashboard update: Pace of global warming slows despite limited progress of COP 24

Higher carbon prices and increased political ambition to tackle climate change have helped slow the expected pace of global warming, despite the limited progress made at the recent COP 24 summit, Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard has calculated.

According to the dashboard, the world is currently on course for a long-run temperature rise of 3.9°C as of the end of 2018, down from 4°C calculated in Q3 2018.

The dashboard – launched in 2017 – is designed to give investors an insight into the progress governments and industries are making towards meeting the 2°C temperature rise target set by the Paris Agreement in 2015, and the transition to a low-carbon global economy.

Rising carbon prices across Europe and North America have been the core driver behind the increased momentum to address climate change[1].  

This has been supported by growing political ambition worldwide with countries representing more than half the world’s car sales having announced plans to phase out combustion engine cars[2].

Furthermore, Climate Group, CDP and PwC reported in November that 120 global cities and states, representing over one–fifth of the global economy, had committed to decarbonising twice as quickly as the G20 group of leading countries.[3] Investment by oil and gas industries globally has also edged down[4].

Andrew Howard, Head of Sustainable Research, Schroders, said:

“COP 24 ended with an agreement that pushes the prospect of tougher action back to 2020. We are becoming increasingly doubtful that a binding global consensus will be reached quickly enough to deliver the change needed to meet the commitments made in Paris three years ago.

“In our view, it is increasingly clear that the key to climate action on the scale and speed needed to avoid the worst physical effects of climate damage lies away from the global political agenda which continues to attract most headlines.

“Indeed, there are more reasons for optimism in other areas. The biggest changes have happened away from international politics. For instance, clean technologies are becoming increasingly attractive from an economic perspective and rising carbon prices in Europe and the US create a growing financial penalty to emissions.”

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[1]Trends in European carbon prices can be seen here, and US (RGGI) prices here

[2]Based on the share of global car sales in countries we identify – via media and industry sources – of countries announcing policies to phase out combustion engine production or sale. National car sales are taken from OICA


[4]We calculate capital investment relative to assets for the global oil & gas sector (using Thomson Reuters data) and compare the future growth implied to demand trajectories in different climate scenarios