The Carbon Clock of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) shows how much CO2 can be released into the atmosphere to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C and 2°C, respectively.

In 2015, with the Paris Climate Agreement, all nations around the world set themselves the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C (preferably 1.5°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. An ambitious goal. The Special Report of October 2018 presents new figures: The atmosphere can absorb no more than 420 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 if we are to stay below the 1.5°C threshold. However, since around 42 Gt of CO2 is emitted globally every year, this budget is expected to be used up in <9 years. The budget for staying below the 2°C threshold, for its part, of approximately 1170 Gt, will be exhausted in <26 years.

The clock keeps ticking and shows how little time is left for political decision-makers to  take action. Navigating the MCC website gives an interactive understanding of the time frame of action required for a given political goal.