27-29 Sept. 13 Following quote used variously by the BBC, Independent & others
The latest IPCC report from leading climate change scientists offers neither surprises nor solace to our fossil-fuel hungry world. The science message for policy-makers, business leaders and civil society has changed very little during the last twenty years. True, small adjustments and refinements have occurred – but this is a mature science. What has changed significantly since the last report, however, is that we have pumped an additional 200 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Annual emissions are now 60% higher than at the time of the first report in 1990 and atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest they have been for over 2 million years.
So what are we doing to reverse this reckless growth in emissions? Record levels of investment in North Sea oil, tax breaks for shale gas (another high-carbon energy source), investment in oil from tar sands and companies preparing to drill beneath the Arctic. Against this backdrop, the Treasury is pushing for over 30 new gas power stations, whilst the government supports further airport expansion and has dropped its 2030 decarbonisation target – all this alongside beleaguered plans for a few wind farms and weak energy efficiency measures.
Governments, businesses and high-emitting individuals around the world face a stark choice: to reduce emissions in line with the clear message of the IPCC report, or continue to favour high-carbon activities at the expense of both climate-vulnerable communities and future generations.
The Independent IPCC report: The financial markets are the only hope in the race to stop global warming I disagree fundamentally with premise of this piece: see Why carbon prices can’t deliver the 2°C target