over the next two-to-three decades will have a large impact on opportunities to achieve lower stabilization levels'' of greenhouse gases.
The cost of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases at between 535 and 590 ppm would be about 0.6 percent of world output, and at 590 to 710 ppm, the cost would be 0.2 percent, according to the panel. Those concentrations equate to temperature gains of as much as 3.2 and 4.0 degrees Celsius.
Inclusion of a passage in the final version referring to the cost-effectiveness of efforts to stabilize at 445 ppm was the subject of intense debate this week among meeting delegates. The EU wanted the costs emphasized, while China's representatives asked for it to be deleted because they said there was insufficient evidence behind the figures.
China and other developing nations have been wary of efforts to restrict their emissions, which they say will hamper growth. Without an agreement on the costs of efforts to restrict the gases at lower levels, future talks might have been greatly hampered, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
The Fund's Verolme said the 3 percent GDP cost was a bargain compared with the cost of inaction. A U.K. government report last year said that failure to take action to stave off climate change would cost the world 5 percent to 20 percent of GDP.
China, poised to become the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases as early as this year, had also pushed for the document to say industrialized nations such as EU members and the U.S. are responsible for the bulk of historical emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other gases blamed for global warming.
The IPCC is this year carrying out its biggest overview of climate change since 2001. Global warming is ``very likely'' caused by human emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, the panel said Feb. 2. On April 6, it warned of floods and droughts because of rising temperatures.
At present, 35 countries and the European Union are bound by the Kyoto Protocol, which requires them to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by a combined 5 percent by 2012, when its provisions end. The U.S. rejected the treaty in 2001, and developing nations such as China aren't assigned targets.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in Bangkok at
Jurnalo.com: The IPCC and the UN climate survey
Friday 04 May 2007 08:19
The United Nations climate panel was founded in 1988 to investigate the risks of global warming.
The body was tasked with gathering, assessing and presenting scientific data on climate change in an understandable format. The world body, with the full title, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Based in Geneva, the panel has so far published three comprehensive reports on climate change, in 1990, 1995 and 2001. The body does not conduct its own scientific research, but pulls