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Title: Accelerating the Renewable Energy Revolution to Get Back to the Holocene

The UN's Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming between 1.5 and 2°C is dangerously obsolete and needs to be replaced by a commitment to restore Earth's climate. We now know that continued use of fossil fuels associated with 1.5–2°C scenarios would result in hundreds of millions of pollution deaths and likely trigger multiple tipping elements in the Earth system. Unexpected advances in renewable power production and storage have radically expanded our climate response capacity. The cost of renewable technologies has plummeted at least 30‐year faster than projected, and renewables now dominate energy investment and growth. Thisrenewable revolutioncreates an opportunity and responsibility to raise our climate ambitions. Rather than aiming for climate mitigation—making things less bad—we should commit to climate restoration—a rapid return to Holocene‐like climate conditions where we know humanity and life on Earth can thrive. Based on observed and projected energy system trends, we estimate that the global economy could reach zero emissions by 2040 and potentially return atmospheric CO2to pre‐industrial levels by 2100–2150. However, this would require an intense and sustained rollout of renewable energy and negative emissions technologies on very large scales. We describe these clean electrification scenarios and outline technical and socioeconomic strategies that would increase the likelihood of restoring a Holocene‐like climate in the next 100 years. We invite researchers, policymakers, regulators, educators, and citizens in all countries to share and promote this positive message of climate restoration for human wellbeing and planetary stability.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Earth's Future
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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