Sunday, April 29, 2007

IPCC Report Part 3: It's All About the Benjamins

"The Benjamins" is hip-hop slang for money, honey, and that subject is likely to come up as scientists and diplomats prepare to meet to hammer out the details of Part 3 of the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change Report, which deals with recommendations for combatting the problems stemming from the warming of the earth's environment, according to
Some of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters like the U.S. and Australia and top oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia will try to water down language in a draft report, obtained by The Associated Press earlier this month, that suggests reducing emissions could cost less than 3 percent of annual global economic activity, environmental activists said.
"Cost will be on everybody's mind," said environmental protection group WWF International's Martin Hiller. "Changing the energy system is costly, but we can still afford to do it. The cost for doing nothing is staggering and could be up to 20 times more expensive."
Developing countries are likely to demand that richer countries help them adapt to warming global temperatures, which are expected to cause widespread flooding, droughts and rising sea levels.
"If you take roads or electricity lines or buildings, they will all have to be adapted to climate change," said Hiller.
On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a network of more than 2,000 scientists, will open a five-day meeting in Bangkok to finalize a report on how the world can mitigate rising levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases.
The draft report, which will be amended following comments from dozens of governments, says emissions can be cut below current levels if the world shifts away from carbon-heavy fuels like coal, invests in energy efficiency and reforms the agriculture sector.
Two previous IPCC reports this year painted a dire picture of a future in which unabated greenhouse gas emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.
Even a 2-degree-Celsius (3.6-degree-Fahrenheit) 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.

The third report makes clear the world must quickly embrace a basket of technological options -- already available and being developed -- just to keep the temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
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