UN: climate change will have 'abrupt and irreversible' consequences

VALENCIA, Spain, Nov. 17 — Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, describing climate change as “the defining challenge of our age,” released the final report of a United Nations panel on climate change here on Saturday and called on the United States and China to play “a more constructive role.”
His challenge to the world’s two greatest greenhouse gas emitters came just two weeks before the world’s energy ministers meet in Bali, Indonesia, to begin talks on creating a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
The United States and China are signatories to Kyoto, but Washington has not ratified the treaty, and China, along with other developing countries, is not bound by its mandatory emissions caps. More

Here it is: the future of the world, in 23 pages
By Mike McCarthy, Environment Editor
19 November 2007
It is about the size and weight of a theatre programme and when it was published in Valencia, Spain, at the weekend, the first eagerly grabbed copies were held together by a hastily punched staple. Yet these 23 pages are crucial for the future of the world.
This is the key document on climate change, and from now on you can forget any others you may have read or seen or heard about. This is the one that matters. It is the tightly distilled, peer-reviewed research of several thousand scientists, fully endorsed, without qualification, by all the world’s major governments. Its official name is a mouthful: the Policymakers’ Summary of the Synthesis Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment. So let’s just call it The Synthesis.

U.N. Report Describes Risks of Inaction on Climate Change
VALENCIA, Spain, Nov. 16 — In its final and most powerful report, a United Nations panel of scientists meeting here describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is both more specific and forceful than its previous assessments, according to scientists here.
… The previous three sections, released between February and April, focused on one issue at a time: the first on science, the second on how the world could adapt to warming and the third about how countries could “mitigate,” or reduce the greenhouse gases produced.
This fourth and final assessment — the so-called synthesis report — seeks to combine lessons from all three. Its conclusions are culled from data contained in the thousands of pages that were essentially technical supplements to the panel’s previous publications. How that data is summarized and presented to the world is a powerful guide to what the scientists consider of utmost importance at the end of a five-year process, offering concrete guidelines for policy makers.
“You look to a synthesis report to provide clarity, to clarify what was obscure in previous reports,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton University. “Now, how can we take these findings and formulate a policy response that’s quick enough and big enough?”
While drafts of the panel’s reports are written by panels of scientists, the language is reviewed and often altered by delegates from 130 governments who meet before their final approval and release. Those negotiations took place here this week, and were often contentious, with the United States, China and India raising many objections, said scientists who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to publicly refer to any countries by name. More


16 November 2007

UN: climate change will have ‘abrupt and irreversible’ A panel of the United Nations’ leading scientists is to warn that climate change could have “abrupt and irreversible” consequences, in a landmark document designed to force action from member states on the issue.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is seen as one of the most influential documents produced on the global warming issue to date, with the goal of forcing some of the world’s biggest polluters to curb their emissions.
The Times has learnt that IPCC delegates – made up of some of the world’s most eminent scientists – agreed on a text this morning after all-night negotiations in Spain, in which it was decided that tough wording would be needed.
As a result, the text of the draft report, which is due to be officially released tomorrow by Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, will caution that human activity could lead to “abrupt and irreversible” changes in our climate unless action is taken. More

2 Comments on "UN: climate change will have 'abrupt and irreversible' consequences"

  1. Diana Thébaud Nicholson November 18, 2007 at 6:38 pm ·

    Climate change will reverse decades of social and economic progress across Asia, campaigners claim.
    A report by [The Working Group on Climate Change and Development], a coalition of environment and aid agencies calls for urgent action to avert the threat. [It]says industrialised countries must cut carbon emissions massively by mid-century.
    The report – Up In Smoke? Asia and the Pacific – says Asia is “effectively on the front line of climate change”, as it is home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population. More

  2. Diana Thébaud Nicholson November 19, 2007 at 7:35 pm ·

    We did not know that the Environment Minister had recently traveled the road to Damascus, but Lo!
    Canada’s Environment Minister Welcomes the Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    OTTAWA, Nov. 17 /CNW Telbec/ – Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird
    today congratulated the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the release of its fourth and final report, covering key aspects of global climate change.
    “The science is clear [but wasn’t six months ago? DTN] and Canada, like the rest of the world needs to take immediate action on climate change,” said Minister Baird. “That is why we announced our Turning the Corner plan, which sets tough and achievable mandatory targets for all major industrial sectors which will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and by 60-70% by 2050.”

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