3.2 Dealing with climate: Why 2030?

Author: Daniela Ellero

ABSTRACT: 2030 is a target year in the reduction process of global temperature increase that was unanimously decided upon by 189 countries during the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Graph A: Unexpected Advancements to the 2030 Goal

This analysis is done over 69 countries, 50 U.S. states, and 30 Chinese provinces, which represent 85% of the world population and 97% of global CO2 emissions.

Source: nature climate change


The Paris Agreement outlined the collective solutions package and a set of target years for the government and individuals of 189 countries to aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Several goal years of 2030, 2050, and 2100 were set up to provoke a reaction immediately rather than prolong the already late delayed action towards the climate crisis.

Considering carbon footprints per capita in 2015 and now in 2021, the urgency of the situation is evident. The significance of the year 2030 is the fact that is a not-so-distant future that politicians and individuals can resonate with instead of passing on the issues to future generations. When speaking of the climate crisis, it is important to stress the effects it has on current affairs instead of passing the issue onto our grandchildren. Reducing carbon footprints now, to prepare for 2030, will introduce long lasting effects that will aid in meeting the future climate goals of 2050 and 2100.

Picking leaders who will acknowledge the climate crisis is integral in meeting the 2030 Paris goals. In 2017, former president Donald Trump, expressed that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and therefore releasing any responsibility of reducing carbon footprints on all scales. Irresponsible leaders and actions like this greatly hinder the process of reducing emissions and reaching the very attainable goal forecasted for 2030. Recently, under new administration, the United States has now rejoined the commitment to lowering global emissions and holding the temperature increase.

Graph A, shows the decrease in daily CO2 emissions during the first few months of the pandemic, which is evidence that the goal of 2030 is in fact quite achievable. The data demonstrates that it is obvious the decrease in transportation, manufacturing, and general consuming of goods and services proves valuable to the decrease in emissions; further, it demonstrates that we can change our ways quite easily to conform to the 1.5-degree lifestyle.

While forced confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an unfortunate and rather abrasive wake-up call, it has helped in the de-escalation of global temperature increasing quite rapidly. The goal moving forward would be a pandemic level decrease in CO2 emissions without needing a pandemic.


Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Aalto University, and D-mat ltd. 2019. 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and Options for Reducing Lifestyle Carbon Footprints. Technical Report. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Japan. Retrieved from: https://www.iges.or.jp/en/pub/15-degrees-lifestyles-2019/en

Luderer, Gunnar, and Elmar Kriegler, and Jessica Strefler. ‘The Importance of 2030 Action for Reaching the Paris Climate Goals.’ Potsdam, Germany: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) e. V.

Quéré, Corinne Le, Robert B. Jackson, Matthew W. Jones, Adam J. P. Smith, Sam Abernethy, Robbie M. Andrew, Anthony J. De-Gol, et al. “Temporary Reduction in Daily Global CO 2 Emissions during the COVID-19 Forced Confinement.” Nature News. Nature Publishing Group, May 19, 2020. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0797-x

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