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Copenhagen deal taking world to 3.5 degree rise


7th December, 2009

Industrialised countries need to decrease their emissions to between 25-40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, according to IPCC

Carbon emission reduction commitments and pledges made by countries ahead of the Copenhagen summit would lead to global warming of more than 3 degrees by 2100, according to new analysis.

The 'Climate Action Tracker', developed by renewable energy consultants Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), assesses the individual and combined emissions of every country taking into account their stated emission targets.

As it stands, world emissions growth would not stop before 2040 with CO2 emissions from aviation and marine transport likely to be nearly 4 times 1990 levels by 2050.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says emissions growth needs to peak by 2015. Industrialised countries also need to reduce their emissions by 25-40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020.

Emissions from industrialised countries, including the US and Russia, are currently projected to fall by 8-14 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020.

'From these numbers, there is at least a one-in-four chance of exceeding a warming of 4 degrees,' said Dr Bill Hare, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

On current pledges, the most ambitious countries are the Maldives and Costa Rica, which have pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2020. Norway, Japan and Brazil have also announced significant emissions reductions.

Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are among the countries that have yet to propose substantial action beyond 'business as usual'.

Copenhagen: all you need to know
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Useful links

Climate Action Tracker
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

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