Azara Blog: International politicians make some agreement on climate change

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Date published: 2007/02/16

The BBC says:

Leading international politicians have reached a new agreement on tackling climate change, at a Washington summit.

Delegates agreed that developing countries would also have to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, as well as rich countries.

The informal meeting also agreed that a global market should be formed to cap and trade carbon dioxide emissions.

The non-binding declaration is seen as vital in influencing a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, correspondents say.

The forum's closing statement said man-made climate change was now "beyond doubt".

"Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities," said the statement from the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (Globe).

The two-day meeting brought together legislators from countries including the Group of Eight rich nations, plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Well let's see if anything comes of it. Needless to say, the people at this meeting were some of the richest on the planet, and are responsible for far more carbon emissions than almost anyone else on the planet, but they will not be the ones to suffer, no matter what happens.

Although the BBC report does not say so, apparently the delegates also agreed that 550 ppmv of CO2 was the "stabilisation" level the world should be aiming not to go beyond. (We are currently at around 380 ppmv, compared with pre-industrial levels of around 315 ppmv.) Today in Cambridge there was a meeting about climate change at the Scott Polar Institute (it was called "Debating the Evidence" although there was little in the way of a debate). One of the speakers, Myles Allen, from Oxford University, said there was no great evidence that 550 ppmv was a level we could live with, and that the only reason scientists now seem to be pushing this line is that something drastic needs to be claimed in order for politicians to do something, anything (otherwise we will end up far beyond 550). It's lucky there were no politicians around to hear that one.

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