Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

An actionable climate target

The Paris Agreement introduced three mitigation targets. In the future, the main focus should not be on temperature targets such as 2 or 1.5 °C, but on the target with the greatest potential to effectively guide policy: net zero emissions.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Adoption of the Paris Agreement FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1 (UNFCCC, 2015);,

  2. Jordan, A. et al. Clim. Policy 13, 751–769 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Jackson, R. B. et al. Nature Clim. Change 6, 7–10 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Kolstad, C. et al. in Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change (eds Edenhofer, O. et al.) 207–282 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2014);,

    Google Scholar 

  5. Fisher, B. S. et al. in Climate Change 2007: Mitigation (eds Metz, B. et al.) 169–250 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007);,

    Google Scholar 

  6. Geden, O. Modifying the 2 °C Target (German Institute for International and Security Affairs, 2013);,

    Google Scholar 

  7. Vogler, J. Climate Change in World Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Hoppe, R. The Governance of Problems (Policy Press, 2013).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Brunsson, N. The Consequences of Decision-Making (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Edvardsson Björnberg, K. Energy Policy 56, 285–292 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Knutti, R., Rogelj, J., Sedláček, J. & Fischer, E. M. Nature Geosci. 9, 13–18 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Geden, O. Nature 521, 27–28 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Rogelj, J. et al. Environ. Res. Lett. 10, 105007 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Thornton, J. & Covington, H. Nature Geosci. 9, 3–5 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Briggs, S., Kennel, C. F. & Victor, D. G. Nature Clim. Change 5, 969–70 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Meadowcroft, J. Climatic Change 118, 137–49 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Oliver Geden.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Geden, O. An actionable climate target. Nature Geosci 9, 340–342 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing