A study released by the U.N. Environment Program Sunday indicated that pledges by industrial countries and major emerging nations fall just short of the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that scientists have said are needed.
"For those who claim a deal in Copenhagen is impossible, they are simply wrong," said U.N. Environment Program Director Achim Steiner, releasing the report compiled by British economist Lord Nicholas Stern and the Grantham Research Institute.
Environmentalists have warned that emissions commitments were dangerously short of what U.N. scientists have said were needed to keep average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C (3.6F).
But most of those warnings were based on pledges only from industrial countries. The U.N. report included pledges from China and other rapidly developing countries, which in turn were contingent on rich-country funding to help.
All countries together should emit no more than 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2020 to avoid the worst consequences of a warming world, the report said.
Computing the high end of all commitments publicly announced so far, the report said emissions will total some 46 billion tons annually in 2020. Emissions today are about 47 billion tons.
"We are within a few gigatons of having a deal," Steiner said. "The gap has narrowed significantly."
06 December 2009
Just a Few Gigatonnes Short
It turns out that the world is very close to dealing with this whole climate change issue, says UNEP today, as reported in an AP article: