Climate Change: Stronger, Faster, Sooner
by Dr. Tina Tin, WWF
Recent scientific research published since the deadline for the latest assessment report from the IPCC reveals that global warming is accelerating far beyond the 2007 IPCC forecasts. This brief collects some of the key findings, including particular impacts of climate change in Europe.
This sobering perspective comes at a critical time during the political negotiations of the European Union climate and energy package, which will set emission reduction targets out to 2020. An ambitious package could put the European Union (EU) in the driver's seat for negotiating a breakthrough to a successful global deal to tackle climate change that we so desperately need.
To achieve this, the package must clearly be based on policies that accurately reflect the scale of the challenge we face. These policies must cover what the EU needs to do to put itself on a low carbon trajectory and play its fair part in keeping the increase in global average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The EU must also determine the scale of financial assistance that we owe to developing countries to help them tackle climate change and adapt to those impacts that are already unavoidable.
A weak EU package, on the other hand, may well lead to a collapse of the international negotiations currently due to conclude at the United Nations (UN) conference in Copenhagen at the end of 2009. We must not allow this to happen.
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This report, Climate Change: Faster, Stronger, Sooner by Dr. Tina Tin, copyright © 2008, is reprinted with permission of the publisher, WWF.
The rate of carbon dioxide emissions has actually increased in recent years.
Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
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Too little water: Persistent drought can reduce the volume stored in reservoirs.
Photo: Flickr user Ingrid
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