Rich Countries' Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets Unambitious, UN Official Says
photo: Erin Faulkner via flickr
Despite strong talk from the Obama administration on climate change—to be fair just reengaging with the international community on the issue and not being an utter obstruction is a major shift over the policy of the previous administration—the message coming out of the latest talks in Bonn, Germany which concluded last week, isn't all that encouraging:Adding his voice to that of several developing nations, top UN climate official Yvo de Boer said that rich countries should show "more ambition", the BBC reports.
Considering that US proposed emission reduction of merely bringing them down to 1990 levels by 2020, when by some accounts reductions of 40% or more are needed, I've got to agree.
Political Will Is All That Prevents Greater Emission CutsUS chief negotiator Jonathan Pershing said that only cuts which were "politically and technologically achievable" would be offered. According to many scientists we've got the technological part covered (not that we couldn't do more); reducing emissions radically is possible with what we have now. That being the case, it comes down to political will.
Antonio Hill of Oxfam describes it well,
We have reached a crossroads, and rich countries get to choose the route we all take.One route leads us out of today's economic and climate crises and towards a low carbon future. The other spells disaster for hundreds of millions of people across the globe.
I for one cannot stomach the idea that collectively we will allow climate change to wreck ecosystems, animals and countless millions human lives simply because it's not politically expedient to make the sort of structural, technological, societal and cultural changes required to prevent it. It is a crime of unimaginable proportions.
via: BBC NewsGlobal Climate ChangeWorst- Case IPCC Climate Change Trajectories Are Being RealizedClimate Change Will Cost US States Billions of DollarsFocus on Green Economic Development in Developing Countries, Not Just Emission Reductions: Chair of IPCCVegetarian Diet Could Cut Climate Change Mitigation Costs by 70%, If Enough of Us Make the SwitchPoorer Nations Tell the Rich: You Must Cut Emissions 40% Below 1990 Levels by 2020