What next for two degrees?
The Copenhagen conference took place in the context of grave doubts about the feasibility of limiting warming to two degrees. A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures is the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding. Petra Tschakert is involved in a process of reviewing the adequacy of the two degree goal overseen by the UN. The goal of the UN conference is to get a binding agreement from all nations of the world to limit global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius. The review process was agreed in 2010 at the 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancun, when the two degree target was adopted as a long term goal for climate policy. Modernity has historically operated on the assumption that advances in scientific knowledge inevitably reduce uncertainty and that eventually science will deliver humanity into a state of complete certainty.