The world’s biggest gamble

Johan Rockström, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Brian Hoskins, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Peter Schlosser, Guy Pierre Brasseur, Owen Gaffney, Carlos Nobre, Malte Meinshausen, Joeri Rogelj, Wolfgang Lucht

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The scale of the decarbonisation challenge to meet the Paris Agreement is underplayed in the public arena. It will require precipitous emissions reductions within 40 years and a new carbon sink on the scale of the ocean sink. Even then, the world is extremely likely to overshoot. A catastrophic failure of policy, for example, waiting another decade for transformative policy and full commitments to fossil-free economies, will have irreversible and deleterious repercussions for humanity’s remaining time on Earth. Only a global zero carbon roadmap will put the world on a course to phase-out greenhouse gas emissions and create the essential carbon sinks for Earth-system stability, without which, world prosperity is not possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalEarth's Future
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Earth system
  • Paris Agreement
  • carbon budget
  • carbon roadmap
  • climate change
  • decarbonisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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