“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their Fifth Assessment, have 116 mitigation scenarios with a chance of staying below the 2 degree Celsius threshold. All of those scenarios assume 2-3% GDP growth rates,” says Jon Erickson, an ecological economist at the Gund Institute for Environment in Vermont, adding that this implies doubling the global economy by somewhere around 2050. These scenarios rely not just on switching to renewables, but also on the large-scale extraction of massive volumes of carbon from the atmosphere using as-yet unproven technology, which Erickson describes as “wildly unrealistic.” “None of those models and the IPCC community even bother simulating a scenario where the global economy contracts, stabilizes and maybe even degrows,” Erickson says. “Yet that’s probably the one realistic scenario that would significantly affect greenhouse gas emissions.”
By Ruby Russell. EcoWatch/Deutsche Welle. October 2, 2020.