The Truth About Climate Change

Misunderstandings about climate change and the Paris Agreement explained in a simple way

Was the Paris Conference on climate change successful? What is the Paris Agreement’s goal? Why has it been so difficult to take climate action? Are the current pledges by countries adequate to tackle climate change? Will a transition to renewable energy address climate change?  How can net zero CO2 emissions be reached? What else needs to be done?  Why has the public misunderstood the urgency of climate change? When could the 2ºC target be reached?


The Truth About Climate Change report answers these questions by synthesizing and explaining the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other key climate research in a simple way.


Read the The Truth About Climate Change report.


A joint effort by seven climate scientists and FEU-US.


See the emission reduction targets in the 162 pledges.


The Truth About Climate Change press release was covered by more than 600 news organizations around the world.

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Key Numbers

195 countries

195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change. It represents a critical step towards global climate action since, except for a handful of countries, climate change has not been a priority for taking action for almost 20 years.


If all pledges are implemented, global GHG emissions will be 33 percent above the level of what they should be in 2030 to stay below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.

2ºC target

The 2ºC target could be reached by 2050, even if pledges are fully implemented.

162 pledges

162 pledges, representing 189 countries, were made to combat and adapt to climate change, to be implemented from 2020 to 2030.


Global average temperature has already reached 1ºC above pre-industrial times in 2015.




Weather-related events due to climate change have doubled in number since 1990. Reaching the 2ºC target means an additional doubling in the number of weather events already experienced everywhere.

US$100 billion

83 percent of the pledges are partially or totally conditional to the US$100 billion per year in financial assistance for their implementation.

1.5ºC target

Because of the lack of action to stop the increase in global GHG emissions for the last 20 years, an additional warming of 0.4-0.5ºC is expected. The 1.5C could be reached by the early 2030s.

Net zero

To stay below 2ºC, CO2 emissions should be net zero by 2060-2075.


CO2 accounts for 65 percent of global GHG emissions as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.


About 82 percent of the energy (electricity, fuel and natural gas) in the world is produced by burning fossil fuels –31 percent oil, 29 percent coal and 22 percent natural gas.


Non-fossil fuel electricity generation is 30 percent –16 percent from hydropower, 5 percent from renewables and 11 percent from nuclear power.


The oceans, trees and plants remove about half of man-made CO2 emissions.


Extensive reforestation and conversion of land into forest will not be enough to cut CO2 emissions to net zero. It would imply expanding the current world’s forest cover, at least, twofold.


To reduce CO2 emissions to net zero, technologies such as carbon capture and storage will be required. About a dozen CCS plants in operation capture less than 0.1 percent of CO2 emissions.


The production of energy by burning biomass coupled with CCS will also be required to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Currently, there are no such plants in the world.


The demand for energy is estimated to double due to the anticipated 40 percent population increase by 2050. Changing the way energy is produced in the world will be critical. Adaptation measures to reduce the risks and the unavoidable impacts of climate change will be too.


By 2018, all countries agreed to revise their pledges –sufficient time to significantly raise the ambition of actions to reduce GHG emissions in all countries.