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BBC: Climate change 'can be tackled'
4 May 2007
The growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be curbed at reasonable cost, experts at a major UN climate change conference in Bangkok have agreed.
Boosting renewable energy, reducing deforestation and improving energy efficiency can all help, they said.
This is the third report this year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and aims to set out the costs and benefits of various policies.
IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri said the report was "stunning".
If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble
Ogunlade Davidson, IPCC Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader
"Human society as a whole has to look for changes in consumption patterns," he told reporters at a news conference in the Thai capital.
The report suggests that if major climate impacts are to be avoided, global emissions should peak and begin declining within one or two decades.
The IPCC has already this year produced the two other elements of this global assessment report - its fourth since 1990 - dealing respectively with the science of climate change and the potential impacts.
Greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 70% since 1970, and will rise by between 25% and 90% over the next 25 years under "business as usual".
Renewable energy generally has a positive impact on energy security, employment and air quality
That rise will mainly be caused by an expansion in the use of fossil fuels, which are set to continue as the world's dominant energy source.
"If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble," observed Ogunlade Davidson, a senior author on the report.
During the early part of the week, China had repeatedly tried to tone down some elements of the draft text, delegates said, being keen to remove references to scenarios which it feared could affect its short-term economic growth.
But in later sessions it played a more consensual hand.