b'6 Carnegie Science|Fall 2019Two-degree Climate Goal Attainable Without Early Infrastructure RetirementI f power plants, vehicles, and other energy infrastructure are not retired early, the world will fail to meet the 1.5C climate-stabilizing goal set out by the Paris Agreement. But it could still reach the 2C goal, says the latest from the collaboration between the University of California, Irvines Steven Davis and Carnegies Ken Caldeira. To limit warming to no greater than 2Cor, more optimistically, to less than 1.5Cit will be necessary to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.In a paper published in Nature the team calculates that if existing power plants and other fossil-fuel-burning equipment are used at the current rate until they are nonfunctional, they will release about 658 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere, more than half of it by the electricity sector. China is predicted to produce the largest share, 41%, and the United States and European Union 9% and 7% respectively.According to the authors, future emissions from these existing facilities would take up the entire carbon budget neededCoauthor Steven Davis was a postdoctoral researcher and senior research associate at Carnegie before joining the University of California, Irvine faculty.to limit mean warming to 1.5C and close to two thirds of theImage courtesy UCI Newsbudget needed to keep warming to below 2C over the next three decades.Caldeira remarked: The good news is that society still hasHowever, the number of fossil fuel-burning power plants and the ability to avoid 2C of warming without having to retire powervehicles in the world has increased dramatically in the past plants early. But we would have to stop building things withdecade, spurred by development in China and India. Meanwhile, smokestacks and tailpipes that dump CO 2pollution into the sky. Ifefforts such as those in the U.S. to replace old coal power plants the Earth warms beyond 2C, it will be the result of emissionswith new natural gas ones have decreased the average age of from infrastructure not yet built. fossil fuel-burning infrastructure in the West.Our results show that theres basically no room for new CO 2 -emitting infrastructure under the international climate goals. And if the world is to achieve the 1.5C goal, existing fossil fuel-burning power plants and industrial equipment will need to be retired early unless they can be feasibly retrofitted with carbon COAUTHORS AND SUPPORT:The papers other coauthors are Christine Shearer ofcapture and storage technologies or their emissions offset by CoalSwarm, San Francisco; Qiang Zhang and Yizuannegative emissions, explained Davis. Without such radical Zheng of Tsinghua University, Beijing; and Chaopeng Hong and Yue Qin of University of California, Irvine. changes, we fear the aspirations of the Paris Agreement are The National Science Foundation funded this work.already at risk.'