G8 Inaction Makes Catastrophe More Likely

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“There has been no progress on the huge gap between what the science says is needed and what developed countries will commit to”

by Stephen Leahy

BERLIN, Jul 13 (IPS) – The G8’s failure to make meaningful commitments on climate last week pushes the world ever closer to global climate catastrophe, experts warn. Without commitments to take action, there is little comfort in G8 countries’ agreement to keep overall global warming below 2.0 degrees Celsius.

“If they took the 2.0-degree commitment seriously, it would imply a vigourous and immediate carbon emission reduction programme,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton University in the U.S.

“It would mean carbon emissions would have to peak by 2020 and decline. That’s a tall order but that’s what needs to happen to stabilise at around 2.0 degrees C,” Oppenheimer told IPS.

The Group of Eight of the world’s largest economies comprises Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, Japan and the United States.

Climate experts stress that 2.0 degrees is not in any way a guarantee of safety. There are already significant impacts currently from climate change. However, from what scientists know today, risks increase markedly over 2.0 degrees of warming, Oppenheimer warned.

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1 Comment

  • I so agree with you; think 2.0 degrees Celsius is a number picked out of the air (no pun intended) by politicians because it sounded politically feasible at the time. And now, because they didn’t realize how much harder it will be to stay below this level than they thought, they’re telling us that they’ve all agreed not to let temperature rise above this level and not to worry. Even though they have no plans for how to accomplish even this goal. Even though they know, or should know, the 2.0 C ceiling is too high.

    What really worries politicians is that they’ll have to reshape the corporate world – teach it to crawl – to get it to fit in a “room” with a lower ceiling. They’re rather have billions of people die than stunt big business.