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Carbon budget


What’s in news?

The article contains the details of the IPCC’s new set of limits named as “carbon budget”.

Key data’s:

  • Global Carbon Project’s report: Global Carbon Project every year releases its annual report which says the data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends.
  • The report incorporating data from multiple research institutes around the world on carbon dioxide emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean and land biosphere.
  • Carbon budget: IPCC has set a limit on how much of carbon, the world can emit in the future. Such a limit is called the ‘carbon budgetorthe emissions budget
  • Need: The carbon budget is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the climate policy process and project future climate change.

As per the report:

  • Estimation: The IPCC had estimated that the carbon budget was 2,900 Gigatonnes (GT). The value was compared with the pre-industrial times to the end of the 21st century. 
  • Global limit: The Global Average Temperature should not exceed 1.5°Cin order to avoid the catastrophic consequences.
  • Current emission: As of 2017 data, the world has emitted 2,200 GT. It is about three-fourths of this budget.
  • Expected emission: To avoid breaching the 1.5°C mark, the global emission should be limited within only 420-570 GT till century-end. 
  • India’s emission: India, which houses nearly 18 per cent of the world population, had emitted only 3 per cent.
  • From the burning of fossil fuels, the emission is projected to grow by 0.6% (which may reach the almost 37 billion tons of CO2 emissions).
  • This year’s projection is less than the previous year’s projection. In 2018 and 2017, the projection rate was 2.1% and 1.5% respectively.
  • As per this report, it is mentioned that, the forest fires contributed well to the emission of CO2 – 6 billion tons of CO2, which is about 0.8 billion tons more than the last year.
  • Carbon budget is not the same as greenhouse gas (GHG) budget. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and water vapor are the abundant GHG found in the atmosphere. The share of these gases in the atmosphere has constantly increased with increasing industrialization.
  • The overall growth rate of the emission of these gases was declined due to the following reasons;
    • Declined in coal use
    • Weaker economic growth
    • Lower growth in electricity demand in China
    • Weaker economic growth combined with a strong monsoon in India
    • Weaker overall economic growth globally.


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