IPCC Issues Detailed Report on Global Action Needed to Cut Emissions, Finance Adaptation

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By Dean Scott

Nov. 28 — Global greenhouse gas emissions increased by an average of 2.2 percent per year from 2000 to 2010, nearly double the 1.3 percent-a-year growth over the preceding 30 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report released Nov. 28.

The 1,400-plus-page report, the most recent volume produced by the United Nations scientific body, is essentially a compendium of data and research that was used to anchor an already-released summary for policymakers detailing options for mitigating emissions. The IPCC released that summary Nov. 3.

The IPCC reports often are cited by international climate negotiators in the high-level UN climate talks, which resume Dec. 1-12 in Lima, Peru. The talks are to conclude in late 2015 in Paris with a global accord to curb greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2020 and address the need to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of rising sea level and other climate effects.

According to the Nov. 28 report, titled “Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change: Working Group III Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” annual greenhouse gas emissions grew the equivalent of one gigaton of carbon dioxide each year from 2000 to 2010, more than double the 0.4 gigaton-per-year rate that emissions increased from 1970 to 2000.

The latest report also contains 1,200 scenarios detailing options for reducing emissions and their impact on the climate. The report includes a chapter focusing on human settlement patterns and another detailing the challenge of amassing significant global resources to address climate change.

The total amount of funding needed to meet emissions mitigation and adaptation needs, for example, ranges from $343 billion to $385 billion per year, the report said, and the bulk of current funding—which is well short of that level—is funding emissions mitigation efforts, not helping countries adapt to climate change.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dean Scott in Washington at dscott@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com