In September the U.S. formally ratified the Paris treaty, an agreement between 180 countries that aims to prevent a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit increase over pre-industrial average global temperatures by 2100.
Exceeding a 3.6 degree rise would cross a threshold believed to make climate change and its dangerous consequences extreme and irreversible.
Now, the IEA’s new report predicts even those countries that try to follow the Paris agreement will fall short of what is needed to prevent global temperatures from crossing that threshold: If everyone does their part, the average rise is still expected to be 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, the report finds.
And what if President-elect Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement? The cost — human and financial — of climate change would be even worse. The IEA report details three possible scenarios.