Climate change – highest ever emissions reinforce need for urgent action

EARTHCommenting on the Global Carbon Report from the Tyndall Centre, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

“2013 will see the highest-ever emissions of climate-changing gases from human activity.  These figures are a grim reality-check for the Ministers assembling at the Warsaw climate conference.  The world’s nations need to make urgent progress on further reducing emissions in the run up to 2020 and to agree how fair 2020 targets will be set in Paris in two years’ time.”

The Global Carbon Report predicts that human activities will have created 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the most ever emitted.  Emissions from burning coal will be the largest single source.

He said: “Temperatures are up, polar ice is disappearing and the oceans are becoming more acidic.  The world is already a degree warmer than it was, and could be heading for a disastrous 4.5 degrees of warming by 2100.  Following serious backsliding from Australia, Japan and Canada, the Warsaw conference needs to produce some concrete results to end the planet’s dangerous fossil fuel fixation and to develop the huge job-creating potential of renewable power.  Countries like Scotland can take a lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Many key issues need to be resolved, including how to share targets fairly between nations and how to compensate countries already suffering damage from climate change.  However, this conference is already surrounded by controversy, with sponsors ranging from car companies to airlines, and a major coal conference running at the same time.”

Dr Dixon finished by saying: “Scotland has world-leading climate targets but we need to try harder to actually meet them, with more investment needed in insulating people’s homes, a major shift in focus from cars to public transport, walking and cycling and a continuing transformation of the electricity sector.”



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