One of the key goals of the Paris Agreement, keeping average global warming to 1.5° C, is almost out of reach given the continued increase in emissions being reported by numerous reputable organizations.
However, world leaders remain politically committed to the 1.5°C target, and the associated goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, for good reason: the pace and scale of harm and suffering increases significantly with every incremental increase in global temperature. Each marginal temperature increase not only creates exponentially worse impacts, but with it extensive and expensive costs, both to respond to impacts and attempt to reduce global temperatures through carbon removal and other means.
The urgency and ambition generated by staying committed to the 1.5°C target is our best chance for producing the necessary policy interventions and massive scaling of investments that rarely come without a monumental goal. Therefore, 1.5°C remains a worthy political aspiration and guiding principle. We risk going down a slippery slope if we let that goal slip.