Rich countries fall short on Copenhagen cuts

| 13th August 2009
The EU should set tougher industrial carbon emissions cuts

Proposed emissions cuts by industrialised countries fall well short of what is needed

Proposed emissions cuts by many industrialised countries fall short of levels called for by NGOs and climate scientists

Industrialised countries are planning emission cuts of between 15 and 21 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, according to the United Nations.

This figure is well short of the minimum 40 per cent cut called for by climate scientists and NGOs as necessary to avoid temperature rises of above 2C and avert the worst affects of global warming.

It also excludes the two largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world, the United States and China.

Greenpeace said by including the US the actual cut would be between 10 and 16 per cent.

'All the NGOs are calling for at least 40 per cent cuts by 2020,' said a Greenpeace spokeswoman. 'You can't change the science, we have got to change the politics. If these countries are as serious as they say they are then we need to make bigger cuts.'

Meanwhile, in Australia yesterday, legislation for an emissions trading scheme was rejected by the Parliament by an alliance of Green and Conservative members.

The Greens are calling for tougher emissions targets while the conservatives want the decision on a scheme delayed until after Copenhagen.

See also
Comment: Copenhagen may be flawed but it's our best hope

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