Business-as-usual to bring more floods and heatwaves; Safe path requires immediate emission reductions

Today’s report from the IPCC [1] sets out some stark choices. Scientists are confident that business as usual will bring more deadly heat waves and floods to Europe and seas will rise and acidify further, in turn causing spikes in food prices, food shortages and malnutrition. However, they are certain that there is a clear pathway for avoiding catastrophic climate change, achievable by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the next few years as we move toward a zero carbon future.

“The debate about responsibility for climate change is over,” said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe. “Scientists are more certain than ever that humans are causing climate change but fortunately, equally certain that we still have the time and means to fix it. What we need now is for all 28 EU delegates that signed off on this report to take this mandate back to their capitals and urge their governments to take immediate climate action.”

For the first time, the IPCC provides a global budget for CO2, which we cannot exceed if we are to prevent devastating levels of global warming. Since the report shows we have already blown through half our carbon budget, we must start reducing carbon emissions immediately.

Unfortunately, the EU’s climate ambition has not moved in the past five years and will do nothing to stop us crashing through our global carbon budget. The EU should immediately increase its greenhouse gas reduction target to 40% by 2020 and set three strong, binding targets for renewables, energy savings as well as greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 and beyond.

“We don’t want to see another comprehensive report on the grim realities of climate change gathering dust on politicians’ bookshelves while impacts mount,” Trio concluded. “The risk of catastrophic effects from malnutrition, food conflicts, wildfires, floods and extinctions is too great to impose upon the people and nature of Europe.”

 

 NOTES:

[1] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release the first installment of its Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group I – Science, on Monday. Today the IPCC released the Summary for Policy Makers, which was negotiated line by line by governmental delegates this week in Stockholm.
Hi res photos of the NGO boat action in Stockholm, right, available on demand

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101564557@N06/9934985465/sizes/l/in/photostream/

image of boat and banner outside of IPCC meeting in Stockholm

CONTACTS:

Vanessa Bulkacz, CAN Europe Communications Manager (in Stockholm): +32 494 525 738, vanessa/at/caneurope.org

Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director (in Brussels): +32 473 170 887, wendel/at/caneurope.org