Pace of global warming remains double the international target

The pace of climate change remains double the international target set by the Paris Agreement, as global action to limit its impact is still too slow, Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard has found.

The pioneering framework – launched by Schroders 12 months ago and updated quarterly - identifies the long-term temperature rise the world is on course for, according to a range of indicators spanning politics, business, technological progress and energy.

On average, Schroders’ dashboard has calculated that the world is on course for a 4°C temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, unchanged from three months ago, but slightly lower than the 4.1°C increase identified in Q2 2017.

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

“When we launched the Climate Progress Dashboard a year ago, it pointed to a 4.1°C temperature rise. Since then, it has fallen slightly to 4°C.

“Indicators are moving in the right direction, and there are reasons for optimism looking at individual values, but it is also clear that far faster action is needed and far more disruption lies ahead.

“We believe the outlook is a little more positive than the headline temperature rise suggests. In particular, the growing use of electric vehicles and clean energy technologies underline the falling reliance on politicians to drive climate action, which should ultimately be a major positive.”

Encouragingly, carbon prices on the world’s largest exchange in Europe have more than doubled since the middle of last year[1], following reforms to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme. China also announced in late 2017[2] that it would roll out a nationwide carbon-trading scheme, which will establish a price for close to one-quarter of the world’s emissions.

Rapid growth in electric car vehicle sales has also been a positive development, with vehicle production benefitting from rapid cost declines.

However, Schroders has also identified a global slowdown in financial flows into climate change solutions such as clean energy over the last 12 months, while coal production[3] rose further than anticipated after having fallen for the previous three years.

Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard key:

Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard: 

Revisiting the indicators

In this annual update, we have introduced some changes to the dashboard and have created new categories for ‘Fossil fuel production’ and ‘Fossil fuel reserves’, previously  ‘Oil & gas production’ and ‘Coal production’, therefore making direct comparisons between previous dashboards for these categories misleading.

‘Fossil fuel production’ combines global production of oil, gas and coal, based on the energy content of each hydrocarbon, and replaces two measures we used previously examining oil, gas and coal production separately. While the data behind the calculations is the same, we think looking at the aggregate provides a clearer picture of the state of progress.

The new ‘Fossil fuel reserves’ measure gauges the pace of increase in new fossil fuel reserves.  It compares the volume of fossil fuel reserves added annually to the long-term pace of demand growth in each temperature scenario.

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[3] We use the BP Statistical Review as our key source of production data.  The most recent report was released in June: