Current proposals from the United States and European Union for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 relative to 1990 levels would result in industrialised countries reducing emissions by between 10 and 25 per cent if replicated across this group as a whole. Even at the top end of this range, a significant 2020 'mitigation gap' would have opened up against the reductions necessary to stay on track for a halving of global emissions by 2050.
This paper - the first by the newly formed Global Climate Network - spells out what is perhaps the greatest policy challenge of our age: on the one hand, current proposals for 2020 emissions cuts in industrialised countries are insufficient to ensure that global reductions are kept on track for a halving or better by 2050. Yet on the other, developing countries are unlikely to accept the substantial costs associated with closing the resulting mitigation gap while their levels of wealth and per capita usage of energy are still comparatively low.
The paper features new analysis commissioned by the Global Climate Network which shows that a 'mitigation gap' could open up and undermine the credibility of a post-2012 regime that has the aim of avoiding dangerous climate change.
For more infomation please visit www.globalclimatenetwork.info
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