Principles for a Global Deal for Limiting the Risks from Climate Change

by Dimitri Zenghelis & Nicholas Stern

Climate change is a global problem unparalleled in scale requiring international collaboration across sectors, countries and disciplines. The world has only a few years to establish a strong and credible global deal for action to reduce emissions if it is to avoid large risks of severe damage to the planet and to the prospects for sustained growth and development. The challenge cannot be underestimated and marginal changes are simply not sufficient to stabilise temperatures so that substantial risks from climate change can be reduced. It requires radically transformed development paths on the back of a technological revolution. The strategy for a global deal needs to be one of strong, effective and timely action to protect growth, support poverty reduction and create new economic opportunities. Delayed and piecemeal actions, relying on old technologies, will only exacerbate poverty, reduce growth and curtail market choice.
The UNFCCC 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 will be crucial in designing the architecture for a post-2012 successor policy framework to Kyoto. The recent document “Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change” (Stern 2008) builds on the principles of effectiveness, efficiency and equity to suggest what the key elements are likely to be. The purpose is not to prescribe specific instruments or technologies ; different technologies and different policy instruments can be applied to different sectors and
countries. However, it is important that all the different initiatives add up to delivering the overall objective.

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Principles for a Global Deal for Limiting the Risks

Robert A. Spicer


Geological evidence from the Late Cretaceous continental interior of the Vilui Basin, Siberia suggests a far wetter, warmer, and more equable annual climate than General Circulation Models (GCMs) can reproduce. The disparity cannot be bridged by the uncertainties inherent in either the models or the geological climate proxies. This implies the mismatch is genuine and that either 1) we have systematic errors in the interpretation/calibration of the climate proxies, and/or 2) lack of full knowledge of the boundary conditions needed for GCM models simulations of this period, and/or 3) an insufficient understanding of the nature of the coupled atmosphere–ocean–biosphere system and its representation within climate models during warm climate epochs. If it is the third explanation, this would have important implications for the prediction of future climates and
would suggest that we may currently be underestimating future climate change in such regions.

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Spicer EPSL 2008

A Business Executive’s Guide to Global Warming

WBroeckerWally Broecker is the Newberry Professor of Geochemistry at Columbia University. Over the last 55 years he has conducted research on the geochemical cycles of the element carbon and on the record of climate contained in polar ice and ocean sediments. He has authored over 450 journal articles and 9 books. He is, perhaps, best known for his discovery of the role played by the ocean in triggering the abrupt climate
changes which punctuated glacial time. Broecker is a member of the National Academy of Science and recipient of the National Medal of Science.

Global warming is an issue which will dominate the environmental agenda for much of this century. As a responsible business leader, it is important that you be fully informed with regard to both the consequences and the opportunities associated with the ongoing increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Superimposed on all the other changes this century brings will be a shift in climate conditions which will have impacts on everything we do. Until recently, many principals of business and government have to a large extent ignored this problem. Fortunately, with the advent of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” an awakening has taken place. But, as yet, no long-term road map for carbon management has been put into place. Two scenarios bracket the course which global warming will follow. The “business-as-usual” scenario threatens a buildup of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide (CO2) to triple the pre-industrial level. The “prudent cap” scenario involves a concerted effort to halt the increase before the pre-industrial level is doubled. In the sections which follow I attempt to lay out key aspects of this problem in a manner which I hope will be clear as well as informative.

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Business ExecGuide

Carbon Public Enemy n°1 – Introduction

carbon tiff anglais  nkGlobal warming has now become a frightening reality. The scientific community as a whole is rallying to try and avoid its most dramatic consequences.

CO2 is Public Enemy N°1 ; should global warming continue at the prevailing rate, carbon dioxide could make our planet more and more inhospitable …

Will mankind be able to limit its emissions of greenhouse effect gases, and at what cost ? Can the international community avoid the worst ? And what if global warming represented an opportunity for the future of our planet ?

To answer these questions, scientists from such institutions as Meteo France, Ademe, the French Environmental Agency, CNRS and NASA have taken part in the preparation of this documentary film which, for the first time, brings together the specialists working for the future of our planet : Dr Pachauri, Peace Nobel Prize Winner, Todd Stern, the American negotiator on climate, Potochnik and Dimas, the European commissioners, Greenpeace, etc.

« Carbon » helps to understand the present obstacles and the potential solutions and opens the debate on the future of our planet.


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Current CO2 level in the atmosphere

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere


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