Higher carbon prices in Europe have helped slow the expected pace of global warming, Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard has calculated.
Reforms last November reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted in the European Union (EU) have helped the world’s expected temperature rise to edge down to 4.0°C as of 31 March 2018, a slight fall from 4.1°C recorded at the end of 2017.
This is the first temperature drop identified by the Climate Progress Dashboard since its launch last year.
The dashboard 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 economy.
Andrew Howard, Head of Sustainable Research, Schroders, says: “Spurred in part by reforms to the EU’s carbon allowances last Autumn, carbon prices have risen sharply in recent months. They still have a long way to go before providing a real incentive to cut emissions on the scale needed to limit temperature rises to two degrees.
“This quarter has marked the first drop in the temperature rise implied by the Climate Progress Dashboard, but the improvement is marginal relative to the reductions still needed to limit the increase to safe levels.”
By the end of March, exchange prices for carbon in the EU had reached over USD15/tonne for the first time since 2010. Schroders has estimated that carbon prices will have to reach close to USD100/tonne to incentivise emission reductions on the scale needed to limit temperature rises to 2°C.
Also moving in the right direction was the progress of electric vehicles, which saw its implied temperature trajectory fall from 3.9°C to 3.6°C between the end of December and March, as sales of new vehicles continued their growth trend, albeit at a slowing pace as the technology becomes more established.
However, public concern globally for climate change issues ebbed during the latest quarter. An influential survey in the US found that worries over the impact of global warming had waned, while internet searches for ‘climate change’ have fallen to almost half the highs reached 18 months ago.