Climate pledges would result in 3 degree jump says UN

Posted: 17 December 2009

A confidential United Nations secretariat analysis finds that current emissions reductions pledged by developed and some emerging economies would leave the world on track to global warming of at best three degrees - and probably more.

"The stark message for world leaders at Copenhagen is that the proposals on the table - especially from industrialised countries - fall far short of what the world needs," said Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK.

""This assessment from just two days ago is based on a very optimistic view of emissions reductions pledges that assumes away the huge loopholes where emissions are hidden and assumes all voluntary emissions reductions commitments will be met."

"Urgent action is needed to put global emissions on a pathway that would keep warming well below the accepted two degree threshold for unacceptable risks of catastrophic climate change," Allott said..

"It is a case of simple maths - we need much ambitious targets for developed countries, new and additional financial support to help low-carbon growth in developing countries, and action to plug the many loopholes that make existing emission pledges even weaker than they seem at first glance."

In another comment on the leaked UN paper, Andy Atkins, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, said: "A deal on the basis of what's currently on the table would condemn millions of people to misery and death.

"Rich countries must at least double their pledged emissions cuts in the next 24 hours, abandoning scandalous loopholes including offsetting, and ensure the necessary finance is available to support the whole world tackle climate change."