The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark last year set achievable standards for countries around the globe to reduce their carbon emissions and help curb greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, as a new report details, the inability of countries who signed onto the Climate Change Accord to act could lead to irreversible effects on our climate.
According to an article on TG Daily, the failure of global governments and corporations to act on the issue of climate change has caused the goal of keeping global temperature rise down to two degrees to become unrealistic.
In addition to the overall inaction, the TG Daily report says that most countries set their standards incredibly low, which means that even if they reached their target for reducing emissions, they would have little impact on climate. From the report:
"Looking at individual countries' agreed targets for emission levels, the report shows that many developed countries such as the US and the European Union have set their sights low, to say the least, aiming at reaching emission levels just a few percent lower than 1990 levels by 2020. Only Japan and Norway are aiming for serious cuts, promising levels 25 percent and 30 to 40 percent below 1990's respectively."
Of the industrialized nations that attended last year’s summit and agreed to the framework put forth, the United States set one of the lowest standards, while continuing to be one of the largest greenhouse gas producing countries in the world.
Their target was to reduce emissions by 17% of 2005 levels, which were remarkably high, by the year 2020. After this they would become more aggressive, reducing levels by 42% by 2030 and 83% by 2050. Even with the low targets set by the U.S., they have so far been unable to make a significant dent in their emissions.
The U.N. will kick off another Climate Change Conference in Cancun, beginning at the end of November. We’ll have to wait and see if this conference will produce standards that countries will actually adhere to.
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