An article by Alister Doyle, Reuters.

The world will need far tougher curbs on greenhouse gases, by both developed nations and emerging economies, to keep global warming from exceeding a promised ceiling, a draft U.N. report shows.

Rich nations led by the United States would have to halve their emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels to keep warming below an agreed 2 degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) ceiling above pre-industrial times, according to the draft obtained by Reuters.

Asia, including China and India, would have to limit emissions to around 2010 levels by 2030 as part of a global shareout, a tough goal for countries that say they need to burn more fossil fuels to help end poverty.

“Stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations will require large-scale transformations in human societies,” according to chapter 6 of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due for release in Berlin in mid-April.

Most governments are not planning such tough curbs, fearing they would be economically crippling. Temperatures are on track to exceed the ceiling, set by almost 200 nations in 2010, of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

Even so, the curbs mark a shift in debate about climate change, which has focused most on action by rich emitters.

“The implications for all the big emitters are pretty stark,” said Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “All of them now have something to worry about.” Like others interviewed, he had not seen the draft.

Developing nations have often quoted the previous IPCC report, in 2007, which said industrialized nations should cut emissions by between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. It did not outline such clear goals for emerging nations.

Cuts by the rich are well short of 25-40 percent. The European Union, the most ambitious of big rich nations, is considering cuts of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.


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