Sunday, 18 November 2007

New global climate warnings


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has challenged governments to act on the findings of a major new report on climate change.

That aforementioned report is the fourth major report the IPCC has released on global warming.

The panel suggests societies need to adapt to future impacts, as well as curbing emissions.

Without extra measures, carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise; they are already growing faster than a decade ago, partly because of increasing use of coal.

The IPCC's economic analyses say that trend can be reversed at reasonable cost. Indeed, it says, there is "much evidence that mitigation actions can result in near-term co-benefits (e.g. improved health due to reduced air pollution)" that may offset costs.

The panel's scientists say the reversal needs to come within a decade or so if the worst effects of global warming are to be avoided.

Recently there have been some new initiatives like CO2 trading and emissions caps, but the majority have either been weakened by politicians and industry, or not widely followed.

In early December, new climate change talks will begin in Bali. Hopefully America will take a more progressive and cooperative stance than it has in the past. Now that many developed governments seem to have a mandate by their general populations and the scientific community to get to work, there is no excuse in backtracking on such an important environmental, humanitarian, and, ultimately, economic issue as global warming.

Update: See here for more on cap-and-trade.

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