Arctic, Island & Advocate Voices Highlight Climate Impacts, Call for Stronger Targets
Urge Climate Negotiators, Members of Congress, and the Obama Administration to Adopt ‘Bolder’ Ambitious Emission Reduction Targets
At a briefing organized by the Climate Law & Policy Project (CLPP) and Many Strong Voices (MSV), a panel of experts expressed frustration with the sizable gap between the urgent and bold action that climate science and real-world observations indicate is necessary and the proposed commitments put forth in domestic and international political forums.
Arctic and island peoples are already experiencing significant climate impacts due to a rise in global average temperatures of about .75Ã‚ºC (about 1.3Ã‚ºF) since pre-industrial times, corresponding to an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations from around 280 ppm to over 380 ppm. Yet the goal espoused by many in domestic and international policy processes is to limit warming to 2Ã‚ºC (3.6Ã‚ºF) – almost triple the amount of warming that has already occurred.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the broader scientific community previously believed that if we limit atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to 450 ppm and the global temperature rise to 2°C, then we stood a good chance of avoiding dangerous climate change,” explained
“The emission reduction targets currently being discussed are not enough for native Arctic communities,” said
“The small island states and the Arctic communities – we stand at the forefront of climate change. We are already experiencing the impacts,” agreed
Recent scientific findings have shown that urgent, short-term action is necessary to avoid catastrophic impacts; the emission reductions achieved by 2020 matter a great deal. The EU has committed to a 20-30% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020. The Obama Administration has suggested a target it deems more politically viable – a return to 1990 levels by 2020. But neither of these targets would protect the Arctic and island communities nor other vulnerable ecosystems around the world.
“The carbon-cutting goal should be shaped not by politics but by science,” argued
The panel of experts and the event organizers hoped their message would be heard not only in
The message, according to Ms. Watt-Cloutier, can be summarized fairly simply: “Our vision must be bolder.”
About CLPP & MSV
The Climate Law & Policy Project (CLPP) works to prevent the impacts of climate change from causing irreversible harm to humanity and the earth’s natural systems by promoting deeper reductions of the emissions that cause global warming, protecting the human rights of vulnerable communities, and developing and analyzing relevant policy approaches. To learn more, visit www.climatelawpolicy.org.
Many Strong Voices (MSV) is a collaborative program with the goal of promoting the well-being, security, and sustainability of coastal communities in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the face of climate change, by bringing these regions together to take action on mitigation and adaptation. MSV is made up of a consortium of partners represented by nearly 20 Arctic and SIDS nations. To learn more, visit www.manystrongvoices.org.
SOURCE Climate Law & Policy Project