Are new global warming targets needed?

Source: The Guardian | by Fiona Harvey

The world should agree to limit global warming to just 1.5C instead of the current target of 2C, the United Nations’ climate chief has said, in remarks that shocked the governments of developed nations. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, said: “Two degrees is not enough – we should be thinking of 1.5C. If we are not headed to 1.5C we are in big, big trouble.”

Scientists estimate that 2C of warming is the limit of safety, beyond which climate change becomes catastrophic and irreversible. Last December at a UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, all countries reached a consensus on a 2C target, the first time the world’s governments had set a target limit on climate change.

But Figueres said reaching 2C of warming would have a devastating impact, such as sea-level rises that could overwhelm low-lying islands and some coastal nations, and levels of warming in sub-Saharan Africa that could severely damage agriculture.

Figueres was speaking at Carbon Expo, the annual conference of the International Emissions Trading Association.

Read the article in its entirety by clicking here.

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1 Response to “Are new global warming targets needed?”

  1. 1 gstaadblog June 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Also today from the New York Times:

    World Bank to Help Cities Control Climate Change


    SÃO PAULO, Brazil — The World Bank signed an agreement on Wednesday with mayors from 40 of the world’s biggest cities to work on technical and financial assistance for projects to minimize the effects of climate change.

    The deal, announced at the C40 large cities climate meeting here, will ease access to financing for climate-change-reduction projects. It was hailed by many of the mayors, including Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City, and by former President Bill Clinton, who attended the event as part of a new partnership with Mr. Bloomberg.

    “The World Bank announcement is terrifically important,” Mr. Clinton said. “It will give credibility to these projects to get private capital.”

    The agreement will make it easier for investors who have been hesitant to finance projects to assess city action plans by providing a standard approach, said Robert B. Zoellick, the World Bank’s president.

    It will also provide a common way to measure and report on the greenhouse gas emissions of cities, easing access to carbon financing, he said. No single standard exists for reporting citywide carbon emissions.

    Mayors said they were eager to gain access to the World Bank’s climate investment funds, which totaled $6.4 billion last year. Mr. Zoellick said the bank hoped to use that money to attract as much as $50 billion in private capital.

    “What is holding back the sustainable clean technology revolution for a lot of mayors and businesses and households in a lot of countries is the lack of green financing,” said Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland, Ore. “The partnership with the World Bank begins to address that.”

    The meeting has provided a chance for mayors to exchange information on practical solutions they have worked on to reduce pollution, improve transportation and increase energy efficiency.

    For the entire article you can visit the NY Times website here:

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The Gstaad Project is an open, online-based community aimed at bridging the gap between "we the people" of the world and the world's international organizations and intergovernmental entities. Founded in January 2007, the Gstaad Project is an apolitical and non-religious organization. It promotes social, economic, and cultural diversity with an emphasis on human rights, gender equality and development.

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