- Title: THAILAND: UN says thay beating global warming need not cost the earth
- Date: 5th May 2007
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) ( English) RAJENDRA PACHAURI, IPCC CHAIRMAN, SAYING: "I think there's ample time for governments to pick up the assessment that we have and use it for fashioning or coming up with an agreement that works."
- Embargoed: 20th May 2007 09:58
- Location: Thailand
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Environment / Natural World
- Reuters ID: LVA78SCTJADWBN124HU1O61E0O9U
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Humans need to make deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 50 years to keep global warming in check, but it need not cost only a fortune, says a major UN climate report. The final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued on Friday (May 4) says that emissions of carbon dioxide need to drop between 50 and 85 percent by 2050 to keep global warming in check.
But keeping the temperature rise below the 2-degree Celsius level -- which scientists say is needed to stave off disastrous changes to the world's climate -- will cost only 0.12 percent of annual gross domestic product, the report said.
"We have a climate problem that is more serious than we thought up till now. We must act faster, we must stabilise at a low level the emissions and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, German delegate Olav Hohmeyer said. "We have until around 2020 to reverse the trend but -- and this is the good news -- we have all the possibilities to do this,"
The report said technological advances -- particularly in producing and using energy more efficiently -- means the two-degree target was within reach and at costs bearable by much of the developing world.
China, which could outstrip the United States as the biggest greenhouse gas producer this year, said it was serious about tackling climate change but that the world's rich countries must be prepared to share energy-saving technologies such as cleaner power stations with poorer nations to curb global warming.
Scientists and officials from more than 100 countries have spent the last week resolving complex issues in the report. It is designed as a blueprint for governments to act on, without telling them exactly what to do. However the message is clear -- the ball is now in the governments' courts.
The report stressed that curbing climate change would cost a tiny fraction of world output -- far less than many had so far predicted and IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said governments would be able to come up with realistic policies to combat global warming.
The report is the third to be released this year by the UN panel, which draws on the work of 2,500 scientists. The previous two painted a grim future of human-induced global warming causing more hunger, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels which would drown low-lying islands.
The panel said for the first time that lifestyle changes could help fight global warming.
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