MADRID (AP) — This year’s U.N. climate negotiations in Madrid, the longest in 25 nearly annual such gatherings, ended Sunday with major polluters resisting calls to ramp up efforts to keep global warming at bay.
Scientists say global emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants have to start falling rapidly as soon as possible to meet the Paris goal of keeping global warming by the end of the century well bellow 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), and ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F).
“The global emissions’ curve needs to bend in 2020, emissions need to be cut in half by 2030, and net zero emissions need to be a reality by 2050,” said Johan Rockstrom, head of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
“Achieving this is possible — with existing technologies and within our current economy,” said the revered climate scientist. “The window of opportunity is open, but barely.”
A tentative agreement was reached in 2013 that rich countries would help them foot the bill.
But attributing specific weather disasters such as hurricanes and floods, or slow but irreversible changes like sea level rise and desertification, to climate change remains a delicate issue given the potential costs involved.
Source: Aritz Parra and Frank Jordans, Associated Press (via SFGate.com)