Lord Stern - EU cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2020

by Ginosar  

The developed countries, such as the EU and the USA, with other large GHG emitters, should cut their GHG emissions by 30% to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic events associated by increased global temperatures.

The views below by the well known and respected Lord Stern expresses my own views about the time criticality of cutting GHG.

The main stumbling block for a global agreement of this magnitude is the US. Senator Boxer effort to pass an environmental and energy bill is facing determined opposition by Republicans and "moderate" Democrats senators who are more interested in staying in power than reducing the dangers of global warming. They are unable to grasp the severity of the issue.


The most effective way for us as individuals to fight global warming is by pressuring our own three members of Congress. Write a short, simple personal letter to your two senators and one House member to tell them your own views and also call their DC office to increase the pressure. Ask friends and relatives to do the same.



Europe should impose a unilateral cut in greenhouse gas emissions of 30% by 2020, according to climate economist Sir Nicholas Stern.


Under the EU's agreement about how to divide up the cuts that would spell a UK reduction of 42% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

Lord Stern described this as "challenging but possible".

He said it would put the UK at the forefront of a low-carbon "industrial revolution".

The EU has promised to increase its proposed 20% cut to 30% if there is a strong agreement at next week's climate conference in Copenhagen - described by Lord Stern as the most important international gathering since World War II.

" If we fail to act strongly, we risk changing the climate and physical geography of the world in ways that would be irreversible "
Lord Stern

He said that China and the US had already made concrete offers for the meeting, so the EU should increase the pressure with an ambitious target.

He said that would mean investing between 1% and 2% of national wealth into creating a low-carbon economy, and suggested that the UK government should put extra taxes on high-emitting sectors like aviation and shipping to raise more cash to fund the low-carbon revolution.

But the latest analysis from his team suggests that even the strongest agreement likely at Copenhagen would give the world only a "50-50 chance" of avoiding a level of emissions that the majority of scientists believe could cause catastrophic and irreversible effects.

Falling short

Lord Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, explained that to avoid emissions levels associated with a 2C rise, greenhouse gases needed to drop from 47 billion tonnes in 2010 to about 44 billion tonnes in 2020.

They would then need to plunge to much less than 20 billion tonnes in 2050. He said pledges from nations so far fell short of the 2020 target by about two billion tonnes.


From: EU 'should cut emissions by 30%'

By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News

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