6 april 2009

Greenpeace: Industrialised countries missing target to avert runaway climate change

Greenpeace Apr 6, 2009

BONN, April 6, 2009 - The total greenhouse gas emission cuts planned by industrialised countries at the UN climate talks in Bonn total a meagre 4-14 percent by 2020 -- nowhere near enough what the science says is necessary to avert runaway climate change, Greenpeace warned today.

Greenpeace has calculated this total from targets announced so far by developed nations - and released the figure in Bonn at the start of the second week of talks - the first in a series of talks which are designed to produce a global climate saving deal at December's Copenhagen Climate Summit.

This level of inaction will significantly narrow the window of opportunity for preventing catastrophic climate change. It means that the world is unlikely to reach a global peak in emissions anywhere near 2015, as required, making it much more difficult to keep the level of warming as far below two degrees as possible. It would allow governments to make investments that would lock-in fossil fuel infrastructure like coal-fired power stations and make it much more expensive to make the deeper cuts which would be required later.

"The scientific evidence shows climate change is getting increasingly serious. Over the weekend we saw yet another massive Antarctic Ice shelf start to collapse", said Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace International political advisor on climate change.

"This pathetically low target sends a clear message to the developing world that the developed world is simply not serious about tackling climate change," added Kosonen.

"You can't change the science, you have to change the politics," she said.

Greenpeace is calling on developed countries to up their game and agree to an aggregate target of 40% by 2020.

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