European Commission has warned that global warming might be more devastating than previously thought and called on negotiators at global talks this year to remain open to deeper, more costly emissions cuts.
Mr Stavros Dimas European environment commissioner said that “This is almost certainly the last chance to get the climate under control before it passes the point of no return.” He made the warning as he unveiled a proposed European negotiating position for talks in December in Copenhagen on a successor to the Kyoto protocol.
He said that it would call for emissions from the aviation and shipping industries to be tackled, despite the fact that both sectors are seen suffering from global recession.
EU cited growing scientific evidence that emissions will have to be stabilized at lower levels than previously thought, possibly as low as 350 parts per million, compared to current levels of 380 ppm. It added that “It is imperative to secure an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen that leaves the door open for a lower stabilization level.”
Annual spending to cut global emissions would have to reach EUR 175 billion by 2020, with more than half of that in developing countries. But the report omitted plans described in an earlier draft for a USD 200 billion levy on rich countries between 2013 and 2020 to help poor nations agree concrete steps to cut emissions.
EC called on industrialized nations to cut their emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. All but the poorest developing countries should limit emissions to 15% to 30% below business as usual levels, with a rapid decrease in emissions due to deforestation.