Understand the decarbonisation goals and the benefits of decarbonisation on mitigating climate change
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3. Understand the decarbonisation goals and the benefits of decarbonisation on mitigating climate change


The Paris Agreement

Succeeding the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement* is an ambitious multilateral treaty agreed in December 2015 by 196 signatories with a view to combating climate change and taking actions towards a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future. China formally signed it on Earth Day, 22 April 2016.


Every 5 years, all signatories must formulate their own “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) with targets and timelines to be set

Limiting the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels

Note: *International shipping and aviation are not included in the Paris Agreement. International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization are responsible for carbon reduction of their respective sectors.


To limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the world will need to reduce absolute carbon emissions between 40% to 70% by 2050 compared with 2010 and to achieve net zero emissions of CO2 and other GHGs before 2100. The recent Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C of the IPCC has provided scientific evidence that limiting warming to 1.5°C could further reduce climate risks compared with limiting it to 2°C. Yet, it is already an audacious plan to limit global warming to 2°C. To go further beyond to 1.5°C will require global carbon emissions reaching net zero around 2050.

What Can We Benefit From Climate Change Mitigation?
Better health and less premature deaths
  • Researchers found that dramatic cuts in global GHG emissions could help prevent 300,000 to 700,000 premature deaths annually by the year 2030.10
  • A study published on Hong Kong Medical Journal in 2018 indicated that as the global warming worsened, the number of city dwellers suffering from allergic diseases has risen by three to five fold in recent decades. 11
Creating employment opportunities and green growth
  • A recent report by Stern and other authors highlighted the opportunities arising from ambitious climate mitigation actions in five key economic systems—energy, cities, food and land use, water, and industry—that can drive growth and meet the development objectives. It also reported that transitioning to the low-carbon, sustainable growth path could deliver a direct economic gain (US $26 trillion) by 2030 compared with business-as-usual, generate over 65 million new low-carbon jobs in 2030. 12
Business prospects
  • For individual business, one of the major benefits of reducing GHG emissions is to save costs through more efficient use of resources, particularly energy, that cut utility bills. Besides, companies taking ambitious climate actions could enhance their reputation amongst stakeholders and thus foster business development. For the business sector, mitigating climate change could create new business opportunities in new and emerging markets such as in the clean energy sector. It may also reduce risks and costs of damage to assets as a result of extreme weather events.
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