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amount of renewable energy we have today. None of us can predict the future any more than we could in 1905, but that suggests to me it may not be impossible to make that kind of revolution again."


The Guardian (UK): Agreement Reached on Climate Report

Friday May 4, 2007 4:31 AM


AP Environmental Writer

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - International delegates reached an agreement early Friday on the best ways to combat climate change despite efforts by China to water down language on cutting destructive greenhouse gas emissions.

The closed-door debate over everything from nuclear power to the cost of cleaner energy ran into the early morning hours with quibbling over wording. But consensus was eventually reached on a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. network of 2,000 scientists and delegates from more than 120 nations.

``It's all done,'' said Peter Lukey, a member of the South Africa delegation. ``Everything we wanted to see was there and more. The message is: We have to do something now.''

China, the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter after the United States, took a strong stance during the four-day meeting in Thailand. Along with India and other developing countries, it had pushed to raise the lowest target for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, delegates said.

A draft of the report proposed the world limit concentrations of greenhouse gases to between 445 parts per million and 650 parts per million, but China sought to strike the lower range over fears it would hinder its booming economy, Michael Muller, Germany's vice-minister for the environment, told reporters before the agreement was reached.

According to a partial version of the finalized document obtained by The Associated Press, China's efforts failed to remove the lower emission target from the report.

``This is still an excellent report,'' French delegate Michel Petit said, adding that China and the other developing countries ended up compromising on all major issues.

``Nothing important was removed during the process,'' he said.

The report is the third segment of an overall IPCC blueprint that will shape the way the world tackles global warming. The final version was not made available when the meeting broke around 4:30 a.m. Friday, but delegates said it largely resembled a draft version that said emissions can be cut below current levels if the world shifts away from carbon-heavy fuels like coal, embraces energy efficiency and significantly reduces deforestation.

``The strong message (from the report) is that it's possible to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at the level where severe climatic change can be avoided,'' said Lars Nilsson, a delegate from Sweden.

Two previous IPCC reports this year warned that unabated greenhouse gas emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 11 degrees by 2100. Even a 3.6-degree rise could subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050 and threaten extinction for 20 percent to 30 percent of the world's species, the IPCC said.

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