The Paris Agreement set out a goal to keep global temperature rise below two degrees against pre-industrial levels. The 2°C target was first used in the 1970s by Economist William Nordhaus who believed 2°C be a tipping point where climate impacts would pass into a region previously unseen. This target has subsequently been used in other agreements, including the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which aimed to reduce global emissions, and has subsequently been adopted frequently as a target for climate policy.

The 2°C target is believed to be a tipping point where the Earth's system will face unavoidable change and impacts.

The good news is that it is still possible to meet the Paris temperature goals if emissions begin to fall by 2020.

– Christiana Figueres, Mission2020

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