What is a CO₂ budget?

The term CO₂ budget is intended to illustrate how much CO₂ may be caused by one's own lifestyle in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C. By ratifying the Paris Agreement, Switzerland has set itself the goal of reducing its emissions to zero net by 2100 at the latest and limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This means that every person in Switzerland is allowed to emit less than 0.6t of CO₂ per year until 2100.

This figure was calculated in 2015 by researchers from the University of Geneva on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and is based on the total Swiss CO₂ budget, which was then distributed evenly among all inhabitants by 2100.

Since this budget has already been exceeded for several years, the effective CO₂ budget for the future is even lower. As a general rule, the later the target of net zero emissions is reached, the higher the negative emissions will need to be later (see: What does "net zero emissions" mean?).

Sources: Dao, et al. (2015)

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