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COP26: What is the 'carbon budget' and what is its role in fighting climate change?

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A detail of the pilot carbon dioxide (CO2) capture plant is pictured at Amager Bakke waste incinerator in Copenhagen on June 24, 2021.
A detail of the pilot carbon dioxide (CO2) capture plant is pictured at Amager Bakke waste incinerator in Copenhagen on June 24, 2021.   -   Copyright  IDA GULDBAEK ARENTSEN / AFP
By Euronews

"Carbon budgets" is one of the most-often mentioned terms at the COP26 talks in Glasgow, but many are wondering who set them and what role they play in fighting climate change.

The carbon budget is "basically the amount of carbon we are allowed to emit in order to stay under 1.5 degrees plus," Dr. Sven Teske from the University of Technology Sydney told Euronews.

Teske, who is a research director at the university's Institute for Sustainable Futures, hopes to show that it is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"The international panel of climate change defined that 400 gigatonnes of CO2 can be emitted. And then we have to be at zero. Otherwise, we exceed our temperature rise by 1.5 degrees," Teske stated.

In the last two years, Teske and his team worked on a very detailed bottom-up analysis on 12 industrial and service sectors such as construction, energy, and aviation to find ways for these industries to monitor their carbon budgets and bring them down to net-zero.

"We assessed the economic development they projected, we assessed the technology they use, what kind of energy demand they have, and then we projected that with GDP, economic development, and their demand -- all those different industries and service demands into the future until 2050."

Watch the full interview with Dr. Sven Teske from the University of Technology Sydney in the video player above.