Durban Climate Talks and the Emissions Gap

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Durban Climate Talks and the Emissions Gap

Postby Kevin » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:23 pm

Two weeks of climate mitigation negotiations are halfway through in Durban, South Africa. The political wrangling is complicated - this Nature news blog item looks like a good summary:

Bridging the gap: political science in Durban - December 02, 2011 - Nature
http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/12/br ... l_sci.html

"Driven by science and the fear that they are most at risk, small island states and the least-developed countries are pushing for an immediate resumption of formal treaty negotiations. The United States cites the existing framework and says that there is no need to implement a treaty before 2020. "

"Driving the discussion is the ever-mounting scientific evidence of global warming's impacts."

"The short story is that the world now emits around 48 gigatonnes of carbon each year, and most integrated assessment models that combine climate and economics suggest that emissions need to drop to around 44 gigatonnes by 2020 to maintain a likely chance (66%) of remaining under 2 degrees. Add up all of the current commitments, however, and you have a gap of 6–11 gigatonnes. It's known as the "gigatonne gap", and it serves as a kind of negotiating baseline for many countries and environmentalists."

""There's nothing technically preventing us from doing any of this," says Keya Chatterjee, director of International Climate Negotiations for the environmental group WWF in Washington DC. "There are no technical barriers; they are all political barriers.""


Separate but very related, here's an illustration of the gap between the total of pledged emissions reductions for all countries, and the higher level of emissions reductions needed to actually accomplish the agreed-on goal of limiting average global temperature increase to 1.5-2 degrees C.

Image

And the full report behind the illustration...

UNEP Emissions Gap Report
http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks ... /index.asp
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