Climate change march in Melbourne, Australia, June 2009. Photo: Takver via flickr.
At climate change meetings underway in Bonn, Germany to reduce the length of the draft document, the UN distributed some stats on how much the rich nations of the world are planning to reduce carbon emissions by 2020, Reuters reports. Minus the United States, emissions reductions are in the 15-21% range below 1990 levels:If the 39 industrial nations included in the stats live up to those commitments -- and some have unfortunately placed conditions on them, only making them if other nations follow suit, for example -- that means their carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 will be somewhere 9.86-10.71 billion metric tons.
US Emissions Reduction Well Below That
The US wasn't included in the stats because they only included nations which were participating in the Kyoto Protocol. Under the emissions cuts passed by the House's American Clean Energy & Security Act, which are based on 2005 levels not the more usual 1990 levels, the US would effectively reduce its emissions about 4%.
All Pledges Fall Short of the Science
Ultimately, though the emission cuts proposed for 2020 by the Kyoto Protocol members are dramatically more robust than those being mulled over in the Washington, none are in the 25-40% range which scientists say is required to keep global average temperature rise below the critical threshold of 2°C.
Keep in mind that at recent G8 talks in Italy, it was agreed upon that keeping temperature rise to 2°C was the goal.
Rich Nations Ignoring IPCC Recommendations
After those talks, IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri praised the temperature goal, but said that the G8 nations "clearly ignored" the scientific advice on how to actually reach that goal, the G8 making no adequate short-term emission reduction pledges.
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