Leading International Climate Scientists Call on World Leaders for Global Emissions Peak by 2020

July 6, 2009

L’AQUILA, Italy, July 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A group of the world’s top climate scientists today called on the leaders of the world’s major economies to adopt strong measures to address climate change, including a peak in global emissions before 2020.

In a letter addressed to Ministers and Heads of State attending this week’s G8 summit and Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Italy, the climate scientists, including several senior government climate science advisors, make specific requests for policy action and warn that failure to reduce emissions presents “unacceptable risks.”

The scientists are calling for action from world leaders whose nations represent around 70 percent of global carbon abatement potential. Among other specific requests, the scientists underscore the importance of committing to a global emissions peak by 2020 and beginning significant reductions in harmful greenhouse gases well before 2020.

“This is a very important moment in the run up to the climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December, aimed at achieving a global agreement,” said Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton University, one of the signatories of an open letter to Major Economy leaders published today.

“Scientists worldwide are calling on the leaders of the major economies to send a signal to the rest of the world that those countries with the highest emissions, those that are also in the best position to make the greatest contributions to reducing the risk, are ready to combat the threat posed by climate change. These countries should make clear that they are prepared to seize the opportunity to promote low-carbon economic growth and prosperity at home and abroad.”

The letter makes five specific requests of major economy leaders. The requests lay out precise targets for emissions reductions, and call for commitments and actions by both developed and developing countries. The letter emphasizes the importance of recognizing the developed world’s responsibility for historic emissions, and calls for financial support for developing nations to undertake needed actions.

According to the signatories, the outcome of the Major Economies Forum meeting on July 9 should be judged on these five points.

The text of the letter can be read here.

SOURCE European Climate Foundation

Source: newswire

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