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IPCC Issues Climate Warning Before Bali

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its latest summary report on global warming in advance of the UN’s forthcoming climate change summit.

The report, a synthesis of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, will be presented as the scientific backbone for the talks that are set to take place in Bali in December. A 23-page draft summary of the report is to be provided for policy makers attending the conference.

The report suggests that if current trends continue unchecked, global temperatures could rise by up to 4C with sea levels rising by 60 cm by 2100. It also warns of a potential drop in global GDP of 5%, in addition to destruction of the Amazon rainforest, widespread droughts, desertification, flooding and fierce storms.

Speaking of the report at the weekend, Gordon Brown said: "Developed countries have historic responsibility for causing climate change, and have the greatest capacity for reducing emissions. So we must show leadership and take the first and largest responsibility.”

Mr Brown went on to reiterate his plan to ask the newly formed UK independent climate change committee to report on whether the proposed target of a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050 should be even stronger still.

Lucy Pearce, campaign manager of I Count, welcomed the report calling it a “powerful warning to world leaders”. I Count, who have actively campaigned for at least an 80% reduction in UK CO2 emissions to be included in the forthcoming Climate Change Bill, also hope the IPCC’s findings will have a significant impact on world leaders meeting in Bali this December.

“We are looking to the UK Government to show international leadership at the UN climate talks in Bali to help deliver a global deal that will ensure we stop global temperatures going over the 2 degree danger threshold,” added Ms. Pearce. This will mean industrialised countries committing to at least an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.”

The Prime Minister will today (Monday) outline the UK Government’s plans to tackle climate change in his first major speech on the environment as PM. He is also expected to announce a boost in Britain’s take-up of renewable energy as well as stating that the development of new low carbon technology will offer economic opportunities. 

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published: 12:40 - 18 November 2007