IPCC Head Says Aspirational Statements Not Enough, We Need Deep Emission Reductions by 2020
Political leaders have made all sorts of back slappingly good 2050 commitments for emission reductions, but without the right short- and mid-term targets those long-term goals don't entirely cut it. That may be just my opinion, but it seems to be shared by IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri -- who was just quoted by AFP on the matter.
Pachauri said,"It is not enough to set any aspirational goal for 2050, it is critically important that we bring about a commitment to reduce emissions effectively by 2020."
Reinforcing the point he added, if the G8 commitment to keep global temperature rise to 2°C is to be met that global emissions must peak by 2015.Few National 2020 Targets Even Come Remotely Close
That's a bit earlier than is sometimes mentioned and really drives home the need to be setting short term goals based on science rather than political expediency. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions (Norway, Japan), this message seems to have been lost on national leaders.
The general consensus among scientists is that in industrialized nations emissions must be reduced about 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 to put the planet on track to keep temperature rise to a minimum and avoid catastrophic climate change. Think that's a tough thing to do? Check out how Lester Brown thinks we can reduce emissions 80% by 2020.
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