A new report by Ecofys for the Global Call for Climate Action concludes that it is technically and economically feasible to phase out net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions almost entirely by 2050. The conclusion is based on an analysis of existing low emission scenarios. Technological options available today and in the near future could reduce emissions to zero for roughly 90% of current sources of GHG emissions. Residual emissions could be offset by carbon sinks. A net phase-out by 2050 would ensure a very high likelihood of meeting the agreed 2°C goal and a 50% chance of staying below 1.5°C by the end of the century.
There are challenges associated with a global phase-out of emissions by 2050: The speed of transition would be unprecedented and a step change would be needed now in almost all countries. Investment would be needed for infrastructure of energy systems and for solutions that, in effect, take CO2 out of the atmosphere, such as bio-based carbon capture and storage. However, the scenarios suggest the transition can be achieved, mostly with current technologies and at a cost of less than 5% of annual GDP until 2050.
To download report: http://www.ecofys.com/files/files/ecofys-2013-feasibility-ghg-phase-out-2050.pdf