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Copenhagen Accord pledges take world a long way towards 2˚C path, but should go further

London/Nairobi, 25 March 2010 - The targets and intended reductions for greenhouse gas emissions that have been submitted by countries to the Copenhagen Accord take the world a long way towards a path that offers a reasonable chance of avoiding a rise in global average temperature of more than 2˚C, but should go further, according to an analysis launched today by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The study by Nicholas Stern, Christopher Taylor and UNEP concludes that plans submitted to the Copenhagen Accord would result in global annual emissions of about 48 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide-equivalent in 2020, if countries deliver 'high intention' reductions.

This would fall short of a 'climate responsible' target of 44 billion tonnes, but would still be consistent with a 2˚C goal if more difficult and costly annual reductions of at least 4 per cent per year could be achieved for the decades after 2020.

So far, 108 developed and developing countries have associated themselves with the Copenhagen Accord, and 74 countries, which are collectively responsible for more than 80 per cent of current annual global emissions of greenhouse gases, have submitted targets and intended actions which are now listed in the Appendices of the Accord.

The report states: "Our analysis suggests that, although the targets and intended actions are substantial, they would not be enough to limit annual emissions to 44 billion tonnes in 2020, but would collectively imply global annual emissions of about 48.2 to 49.2 billion tonnes."

"This level of emissions would represent a reduction of 6.7 to 7.7. billion tonnes compared with the associated 'business as usual' forecast for emissions in 2020 of 55.9 billion tonnes."

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Further Resources

Full Policy Paper

Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment


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