Options to tackle climate change are affordable, agree governments

4 May 2007

BANGKOK, THAILAND, 4 May 2007 - The world's leading scientists say governments can tackle climate change and that the solutions are affordable and available, in a key United Nations (UN) report published here today.

The report assesses many technologies that could be used to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, but does not make recommendations about which should be used. This report is the third in a series is part of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report.

Friends of the Earth's International climate campaigner, Catherine Pearce, said:
"Here we have further clear evidence that should compel governments to immediate action. Decisions taken now will have huge implications for the long-term stabilisation of our climate."

"By introducing measures and investment that will stimulate sustainable renewable energies and energy efficiency, governments can help to achieve cuts in global emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Without this, we face devastating consequences. Beyond their contribution to reducing emissions, sustainable renewable energies are known to have other positive impacts, such as helping to alleviate poverty, promoting energy security and reduce toxic pollution."

Sonja Meister, Friends of the Earth Europe's Climate Campaigner, said:
"The EU recently pledged to promote the development of renewables, but now we need to see sound policies and the kind of investment which is still enjoyed by nuclear and fossil fuels. The EU must also massively increase its energy efficiency. This report clearly shows that these measures are at hand to fight climate change, and the EU has to deliver now."

"At the key United Nations talks in Indonesia this December, the EU must show strong leadership and set an example by committing to reducing emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020 relative to 1990 levels. This is the minimum required from the EU to prevent catastrophic climate change and may coerce other industrialized countries into similar cuts."

Friends of the Earth Europe warns that tackling climate change goes far beyond cherry picking one technology over another. Instead, a range of mitigation efforts are required, including changes in lifestyle and unsustainable consumption patterns in the rich, developed countries. We particularly welcome the recognition in this report that lifestyle changes can provide opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

***

NOTES TO EDITORS

This report is the third of a series produced by the United Nations IPCC's Fourth Assessment report. It has taken six years to compile, draws on research by 2,500 scientists from over 130 countries and should shock the world into taking urgent action to reduce global emissions.

This third report is based on new literature on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic aspects of mitigation of climate change. It was released today, after a week of governments discussing the text of the summary line by line.

The first part, which focused on science, was published on 2 February 2007 in Paris. The second part, published on 6 April in Brussels, focused on impacts and showed that the world's poorest people will be hit hardest by the effects of climate change.

Related Issues