For the first time since the Paris Agreement , the full weight of the US government is starting to move in the direction of 1.5°C. New climate legislation passed through congress on Friday, reviving a long shot global hope to limit warming temperatures to 1.5° Celsius.
By implementing a climate law instead of an executive order from the White House, the US is taking an approach that can’t easily be undone by future administrations.
But the path to limiting warming to 1.5°C remains uphill and will likely mean overshooting the target at first. In overshoot scenarios, the worldwide average temperatures rise to 1.6°C or higher; later — maybe within a decade — human efforts to deploy widespread nature-based solutions like planting trees and technological tools to capture carbon help pull temperatures back below 1.5°C. Overshooting is the most likely trajectory, according to the IPCC’s most recent assessment, and it remains to be seen if the new US law will be enough to change those projections.
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