EU climate plans point to 3° Celsius average global temperature rise say Friends of the Earth

March 7th, 2011 by Friends of the Earth

A ‘low-carbon roadmap to 2050’ being published by the European Commission on Tuesday 8 March 2011 will not cut EU greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to prevent dangerous climate change and could lead to a three degree rise in global temperature, says Friends of the Earth.

New analysis by the green campaigning charity shows that the EU roadmap to 2050 – widely expected to include a target for cutting EU emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 – will leave the world with only a five per cent chance of avoiding a two degree rise in global temperatures. This is the ‘tipping point’ that scientists say should be avoided to prevent the worst impacts of climate change such as more frequent severe weather and the loss of species and habitats.

Friends of the Earth has long been urging the European Commission to strengthen its 2020 target to 40 per cent, to be achieved without buying carbon credits from abroad. The charity says deeper emissions cuts must be made earlier on if the EU is to deliver on its pledge of cutting emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Friends of the Earth’s Head of Climate Change Mike Childs said “the EU’s plans for tackling climate change are totally inadequate – they may have a map but they aren’t going fast enough or far enough.  “These plans could lead to a three degree rise in global temperature, spelling disaster for the environment, extreme weather in Britain – and misery for some of the world’s poorest people.

“The EU must show international leadership by slashing its emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020, without buying carbon credits from abroad.

“With rising fuel prices this can be achieved by shifting from oil to renewable sources of energy, and using energy more wisely – creating new jobs and setting us firmly on course for a cleaner, greener future.”

1 Response to “EU climate plans point to 3° Celsius average global temperature rise say Friends of the Earth”

  1. Andrew

    Why is a 2 degree rise a ‘tipping point’? Is there any credible scientific evidence that it isn’t say, three or four degrees?

    And won’t rising temperatures cause an increase in species and habitat, rather than a loss? Every ecology student in the world knows that species diversity is greatest in the tropics (which presumably expand poleward). And didn’t the great explosion of species in the Permian and Cabrian eras happen when temperature was higher, at the Temperature Optimum?

    And wouldn’t arable land in the more poleward latitudes become more productive, possibly extending the growing season there? Imagine Ireland with tomatoes rather than potatoes! So where is the misery for the world’s poorest people?

    I can’t imagine that London (and a bunch of other places) wouldn’t be a more hospitable place with a little winter warmth.

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