The authors recommend adopting an ambitious but plausible near-term goal to slow global mean warming over the next 25 years by half. This involves reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) like methane and black carbon by approximately 25% and 75%, respectively, by 2030, and eliminating high-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Short-lived climate pollutants are potent climate warmers but reducing their emissions can effectively reduce near-term warming as they are short lived in the atmosphere. Reducing these pollutants can also prevent millions of premature deaths from air pollution and improve crop yields.
If avoiding long-term peak warming was the sole objective of global climate action then actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants could be implemented once carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions had peaked with only a modest temperature penalty. However the multiple benefits that can be gained from avoiding rapid warming in the first half of this century necessitates consideration of a near-term climate goal.
Read the article in Science (external link to journal, registration required)