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IPCC statement on Durban outcome
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IPCC statement on Durban outcome

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The series of agreements reached on Sunday by nearly 200 countries in Durban lays a foundation for the global community to tackle climate change.

Governments meeting at the annual climate conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decided to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, but not later than 2015, to be adopted and come into force from 2020. At the same time they recognized the need to raise their collective level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep the average global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been asked what impact these agreements will have on global warming.

The IPCC, which provides policy-makers with the current state of climate science, including the impact of climate change and what can be done to tackle it, is due to publish the first part of its next assessment report, the fifth, in 2013.

But already in its fourth assessment report published in 2007, the IPCC showed that a temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius could have a damaging effect on water supplies, biodiversity, food supplies, coastal flooding and storms and health.

The fourth assessment report shows that emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming must fall by 2050 by 50-85% globally compared to the emissions of the year 2000, and that global emissions must peak well before the year 2020, with a substantial decline after that, in order to limit the growth in global average temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In the near term, by 2020, emissions from industrialized countries (listed in Annex I of the Kyoto Protocol) need to be reduced by 25-40% below 1990 levels, while substantial deviations from the current trend in developing countries and emerging economies will also be required.

This must be borne in mind in the package. The earlier action is taken, the cheaper and more effective it will be.











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