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Setting realistic targets

Earlier this week, Aubrey Meyer wrote compellingly to The Guardian, pointing out the importance of setting appropriate time scales as well as levels of CO2 reduction:

Nicholas Stern proposes a global cut in emissions of 50% by 2050, with an 80% cut in the emissions of the developed countries by then. While the principle of the contraction and convergence to world per-capita average of emissions is welcome, proposing it at a rate that is too slow is not. The coupled climate modelling in the fourth and latest IPCC assessment shows that a global cut in emissions of nearly 100% is needed by around 2060 to offset the accelerated rate at which emissions are now accumulating in the atmosphere. We need emissions contraction and convergence globally, but at roughly twice the rate he argues if we are to avoid greenhouse gas concentrations causing "a major climate disaster".
Aubrey Meyer
Global Commons Institute


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