Global warming target could be met if the carbon dioxide emissions eventually drop to zero, suggests research.
The University of Exeter research examined the extent to which carbon emissions should be reduced to maintain future global warming at less than two degrees Celsius over average temperatures prior to the Industrial Revolution.
The researchers found that zero or negative emission target could be only achieved if the world reduced the carbon emissions by at least three percent every year within the next two decades.
The research encouraged the use of carbon-capture-and-storage technology to achieve the negative emission target.
The study further illustrated that if the world delayed reducing global emissions by just ten or twenty years, it would have to make steeper reductions in order to meet a two-degrees warming target.
"We know we need to tackle global warming, but our research really emphasises the urgency of the situation. The only way for us to achieve a safe future climate will be to reduce emissions by at least three per cent, starting as soon as possible. The longer we leave it, the harder it will be," lead author and University of Exeter Professor Pierre Friedlingstein said.
"The interesting news is that we really need to think in the very long-term as well as the near-term. Even a small amount of remaining emissions would eventually mean exceeding the target so we need to ensure that technologies are available to make our world carbon-free in the long run," co-author of the study and University Of Colorado Professor Susan Solomon said.
The study is published in the November 20 issue of the journal, Nature Climate Change.