Pledges to fight global warming inadequate, U.S. off track: study

DOHA Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:37am EST

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DOHA (Reuters) - Major nations' policies are inadequate to limit global warming and the United States is off track even in carrying out its weak pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a scientific scorecard showed on Friday.

The Climate Action Tracker report, issued on the sidelines of talks among almost 200 countries in Doha about climate change, said a toughening of policies was still possible to avert damaging floods, heat waves and rising seas.

Major emitters China, the United States, the European Union and Russia all got "inadequate" ratings for their plans to help limit global warming to an agreed U.N. ceiling of below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, it said.

Adding up all national pledges and taking account of rising emissions, the world was headed for a warming of about 3.3 degrees Celsius (6F), it said.

"We are off track and the United States is not likely to meet its pledge," said Niklas Hoehne of research group Ecofys, which compiles the tracker with Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

He told Reuters that the other top emitters were on course at least to meet their promised curbs in emissions by 2020 as part of efforts to avert severe change that would disrupt water and food supplies.

OBAMA PURSUES EMISSIONS CUT

President Barack Obama aims to cut U.S. emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The U.S. delegation leader in Doha, Johnathan Pershing, has reaffirmed the target and said Washington has been making "enormous" efforts.

But the U.S. Senate never ratified Obama's pledge, made in 2009. Hoehne said that the United States could step up action by tightening emissions from existing coal plants, giving more incentives for renewable energy or tougher building codes.

Pershing said U.S. emissions seem to have peaked, spurred by Obama's clean energy policies. The U.S. goal is being helped by a shift to less-polluting shale gas from coal, and by an economic slowdown.

Among the biggest emitters, only Japan and South Korea had formal policies for cuts that were "sufficient". India, Brazil and Indonesia got a "medium rating," according to the scorecard.

"Two degrees is feasible. It's possible, but we have to start now, not wait until 2020 to act," said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics. "The longer you wait, the harder it gets," said Michiel Schaeffer, also of Climate Analytics.

The study projected that China's policies of restraining the growth of its emissions meant they would climb to about 14 billion tonnes by 2020 from 10 billion now. Without the measures, emissions would surge to 18.5 billion.

The averted amount, of 4.5 billion tonnes, is more than the EU's entire annual emissions and the biggest single step towards slowing climate change, the study said.

Last week, a U.N. Environment Programme study using slightly different methods came to a similar conclusion that the world was overshooting the 2C target, putting the number at between 3 and 5 C (5.4-9F).

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (2)
ECOPOLITICS wrote:
The new figures for 2010 from the WMO show that CO2 levels are now at 389 parts per million, up from about 280 ppm compared to the mid 1700s. Negotiators from many nations will gather this month in Doha in a last ditch effort to find a replacement for the expiring Kyoto Protocol climate regulations of 1997. (AP, Nov. 21, 2012)

So with this historical peak in climate heating CO2 air pollution, why have not actual earth temperatures risen accordingly?

Here are some contemporary global temperature findings of well-respected, nonpartisan climate science experts:

• Long term NOAA climate data show no significant wet/dry climate trends related to CO2 levels;
• There are no extreme high temperature trends correlated to CO2 levels;
• No correlations are observed in CO2 levels with the number or intensity of weather disasters such as tornadoes, tsunamis and hurricanes;
• Current CO2 levels are below optimal for plant life, and doubling CO2 levels would only increase global temperatures by a nominal one degree;
• There would be positive impacts of global warming such as the doubling of CO2 and moderate warming would benefit humanity with better agricultural crop yields. (WSJ, Sept.14, 2012)
• According to Britain’s Meteorological Office, the world’s climate has cooled during 2011 and 2012. The figures show that, although global temperatures are still well above the long-term average, they have fallen significantly since 2010. (The Sunday Times, Nov. 18, 2012)
ECOPOLITICS

Nov 30, 2012 11:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
gee.la wrote:
Don’t fight against global warming. This is war fated to be lost. Get used to global warming and have a fun with it.

Dec 01, 2012 6:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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