IPCC urges nations to act on climate change

The impact of human activities on climate change is clearer than ever and much greater than any natural factors, according to a major new report on climate change.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that if effective international agreements on reducing emissions cannot be reached, global temperatures could increase by as much as 4°C by 2100.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon challenged governments to act on the findings when he announced the publication of the report on Saturday.

He said: “Today the world’s scientists have spoken clearly and with one voice. In Bali I expect the world’s policymakers to do the same.”

The report, published at the end of a week-long summit in Valencia, Spain, draws together the findings of three IPCC assessment reports on climate change published earlier this year.

It said that climate change is now “unequivocal” and could cause “abrupt or irreversible” changes to the planet, such as rising sea levels.

To limit these impacts, global emissions must peak soon and decline rapidly, the report concluded.

It is expected to be a key text for international governments taking part in the Bali negotiations in December.

Following publication of the report, the UK Government said all nations must act urgently to reduce emissions.

Environment minister Phil Woolas said: “No government can ignore the IPCC’s work on the risks of climate change.

“It is a clear call to action that when we meet in Bali next month, we must launch formal negotiations on an international climate agreement that will include every major country on earth.”

He added: “We must not squander the political will and momentum that the IPCC’s work has generated this year.”

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “This pocket guide to climate change science should be taken home and studied in detail by politicians across the world.

“Their test will come over the next 100 months, as over this period emissions must peak and begin to fall drastically.”

Kate Martin

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