Link here. With some edits suggested by Sune. Adds cool tool links at the end.
A carbon budget is the total amount of additional carbon dioxide that we can add to the atmosphere to limit the chance of average #globalwarming to a given temperature.
It’s a helpful way to consider it, unlike ‘net zero by _insert date here_’ which is unhelpful.
It’s a bit like managing finances. Imagine you have an overdraft limit, and that you are currently borrowing a lot of money every year, so much so that if you don’t do something about it you’ll hit that limit in around 5-7 years time.
Net zero by 2050 is: “by 2050 i plan to not be borrowing more (and i haven’t a clue how I’ll do that, but who cares, it’s 28 yrs away).”
That’d be a stupid way of thinking about it because that way it’s certain that you will go over your limit.
Understanding what your total budget is, and reducing your borrowing every year so you stay within that limit is much more sensible… That’s pretty basic finance management surely?
In the UK, to stay within the carbon budget that limits the chance of warming by 1.5°C to a 50:50 chance (rubbish odds admittedly) would require a year on year reduction in emissions, starting now, of around 13% (ish).
The added bonus is that IF we were doing that (which we’re not) in less than a year that would also more than deal with all the natural gas and oil that the UK gets from Russia.
Paying companies to dig up more of the stuff is like taking on credit card debt to bail our overdraft out – we know that’s a really stupid idea that puts us further into ‘debt’.
We’d surely only do that if:
1- we couldn’t think of any better options.
2 – OR if we were stupid (see 1).
3 – OR if we secretly worked for the credit card company.
See here for a cool impact tool.
See here too for the Tyndall Carbon Budget tool.