40 of world's leading scientists call for 40% emission cut

Posted on 17 September 2009  | 
Brussels, Belgium - Today, 40 of the world's leading climate change scientists united in a call to global leaders, demanding greater action on climate change.

The statement, instigated by WWF and endorsed by recognised climate luminaries such as Sir John Houghton, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), calls for industrialised countries to make a commitment at the UN Climate summit in Copenhagen, to cut carbon emissions by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, in order to keep temperatures below 2°C and avoid dangerous climate change.

"To live up to its strong commitment to keep below 2°C, the EU will have to turn words into action and double its current reduction commitment from 20 to 40%." said Jason Anderson, Head of European Climate and Energy Policy at WWF.

"Industrialised nations need to prove that their pledge to keep the world below 2°C is not mere grandstanding. They must commit to global emissions cuts of at least 40 per cent by 2020; anything less will lead to a weak global agreement and leave the world wide open to the worst impacts of climate change."

Saleem Huq, one of the signatories, IPCC author and Senior Fellow in Climate Change at the International Institute for Environment and Development, said: "The scientific evidence now indicates that even a rise in temperature of two degrees will entail considerable hardships for poor and vulnerable people around the world, especially those living on low lying islands and coasts. So a 40% reduction in emissions is the very least required to provide a better chance of avoiding devastation for these countries and communities."

Key meetings that will shape the global climate deal take place in coming weeks, including the UN General Assembly in New York and the G20 Heads of State meeting in Pittsburgh. It is vital that the politicians attending take note of such timely advice from the world's scientific community.

For further information:
Jason Anderson, Head of European Climate Change and Energy Policy
Tel: +32 474 837 603
E-mail: janderson@wwfepo.org

Alexandra Bennett, Communications Director at WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 477 393 400
E-mail: abennett@wwfepo.org

WWF points out that the over-exploitation of fossil fuels - such as coal, gas and oil - is putting the whole of humanity under threat from climate change.
© WWF-Canon / Mauri RAUTKARI Enlarge

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