World 'must act now' on warming

Via the Guardian:

World ‘must act to avoid devastating global warming’
Peter Walker and agencies
Friday May 4, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Devastating global warming can be avoided without excessive economic cost but the world must begin acting immediately, a major UN conference on climate change concluded early today.

The report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s most authoritative organisation looking at the issue, was hailed by environmentalists as a “road map” for avoiding disaster.

The technology already exists for countries to tackle the issue through the greater use of biofuels and renewable energy sources, and improving overall energy efficiency, the week-long gathering in Bangkok concluded. But only immediate action can cap the average global temperature increase at around 2C, they said.

There was some opposition from China – the country about to become the world’s single biggest producer of greenhouse gases – which argued that moves to cut emissions should be delayed so as to avoid harming its economic development. However, a draft version of the final report contained references to stringent emissions targets, to which the Chinese delegates had objected earlier in the week.

It is the third report produced this year by the IPCC, a UN network of 2,000 scientists from more than 110 countries. In February, the organisation concluded that it is more than 90% likely human activity is responsible for climate change, warning this could see global temperatures rise by up to 6C by 2100, triggering disaster for billions of people.

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