Monday, February 05, 2007

EU urges relaunch of global-climate talks

A worldwide agreement on climate change is now more urgently needed than ever, said Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas after the publication of a major UN-backed report blaming most of global warming on humans.
New scientific evidence on climate change is "alarming" and calls for "more action to limit greenhouse-gas emissions" worldwide, the EU said on 2 February.
"It is now more urgent than ever that the international community gets down to serious negotiations on a comprehensive new worldwide agreement to stop global warming," said Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.
The call came in reaction to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published on 2 February 2007, which showed that global average temperature will likely rise by a further 1.8-4.0°C this century, after increasing by more than 0.7°C in the past 100 years.
"Even the low end of this range would take the temperature rise since pre-industrial times to above 2°C, the level at which there could be irreversible and possibly catastrophic consequences," the Commission said in a statement.
On 10 January, the EU executive put forward plans for a 'unilateral' 20% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020 in a bid to reduce Europe's dependency on imported fuels and trigger a new 'industrial revolution'.
But it also warned that the EU, being responsible for only 14% of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions, could not solve the problem alone.
"To stabilise global emissions of greenhouse gases, the next step must be for developed countries to cut their emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020," Dimas added. "In particular, we expect the US as the world first emitter of greenhouse gases to take action."
Meanwhile, on 3 February, more than 40 countries signed a call for actionexternal to "promote growth that respects the environment" at a conferenceexternal on global ecological governance organised by French President Jacques Chirac in Paris.
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