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March 6, 2018

Why do we need deep decarbonization?

Electric cars & charging, EV market & trends

Paris Agreement was founded to slow down climate change. Unfortunately the current pledges are not enough and the target is slipping through our fingers. In order to keep the global warming in somewhat tolerable constrains, our only change now is deep decarbonization.

The Paris Agreement, ratified by 174 countries, aims to hold global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level. Doesn’t sound that much?

In comparison, last time the global average temperature was 2 °C higher, the sea level was over 6 meters higher than today. Global warming caused by human actions happens in manifold speed, thus there is not nearly enough time to adapt. Rising temperatures have an impact on weather phenomenon, food production, sprawling of diseases, economy and living conditions all over the world – to mention some.

International Panel of Climate Change has created scenarios for CO2 emission development. From these scenarios, RCP2.6 is the only one where Paris Agreement goals are reached: following this path means getting net CO2 emissions to zero or below zero near after 2050. Yet, the opportunity to follow RCP2.6 is almost gone: currently we are on a track to 3 °C average warming.

3 °C higher global average temperatures would sink Miami, Shanghai, Osaka and Rio de Janeiro. Altogether 275 million people worldwide live in cities that would flood.

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Picture: IPCC's Representative concentration pathways (RCP) presenting four scenarios for net CO2 emissions.

In order to limit the global warming to 2 °C or lower, our only chance is deep decarbonization.

The goal of decarbonization is to replace fossil fuel reliant systems with electricity produced with low-carbon resources, such as renewables. Basically, electrifying everything with zero-carbon power. Electrification will also increase energy efficiency significantly.

The three pillars of decarbonization – electrification, decarbonization of electricity and energy efficiency – intertwine and support each other. Electric transportation is only one part of a bigger solution, but an essential part. 

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We at Virta choose to go for RCP2.6.

Read more about decarbonization and the future we are working towards from our new e-Book: The EV Disruption.

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