UN report sets timescale for climate effort

Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak and start falling within one or two decades if extreme climate change is to be avoided, the IPCC warned in its third assessment report on mitigation, which assesses policy options and costs.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN-led global authority on climate change, concluded that climate warming can be curbed through a mix of renewables, energy efficiency and reducing deforestation.

Global GHG emissions increased by 70% between 1970 and 2004 and continue to rise, climate experts warned in the latest report from the IPCC’s Working Ground III, published after four days of talks at a conference in Bangkok.

“We can no longer make the excuse that we need to wait for more science, or the excuse that we need to wait for more technologies and policy knowledge,” said Adil Najam, who contributed a chapter to the report.

“To me the big message is that we now have both, and we do not need to wait any longer,” he said.

Apart from adapting our energy sources, lifestyles need to change, said IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri said: “Human society as a whole has to look for changes in consumption patterns.”

For more details see the full IPCC report.

Goska Romanowicz

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