## 18 January 2009

### End all carbon emissions by 2050 says Earth Report

People ad Planet, 16 Jan 2009

The world will have to reduce emissions more drastically than has been widely predicted, essentially ending the emission of carbon dioxide by 2050 to avoid catastrophic disruption to the world’s climate, according to the 2009 State of the World report from the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute.

Yet, it says, opportunities abound in renewable energy and efficiency improvements, agriculture and forestry, and in building the resilience of societies for slowing and managing climate change.

"We’re privileged to live at a moment in history when we can still avert a climate catastrophe that would leave the planet hostile to human development and well-being,” said Worldwatch Vice President for Programs Robert Engelman, project co-director for State of the World 2009.

“But there’s not much time left. Sealing the deal to save the global climate will require mass public support and worldwide political will to shift to renewable energy, new ways of living, and a human scale that matches the atmosphere’s limits,” he says.

Confronting Climate Change, the 26th edition of the State of the World series, has been researched by 47 authors and addresses the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as prepare to adapt to climate change.

#### Negative emissions

The Earth’s average temperature has already risen by more than 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century, with much of that increase attributed to human activities. And, the report says, nearly 1 degree Celsius of additional warming may already be in store, based on past emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases that have not yet made their influence felt on surface temperatures.

A chapter by climate scientist W. L. Hare concludes that in order to avoid a catastrophic climate tipping point, global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak before 2020 and drop 85 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, with further reductions beyond that date. Emissions of carbon dioxide would actually need to ‘go negative’ — with more being absorbed than emitted — during the second half of this century.

Hare’s research finds that even a warming of 2 degrees poses unacceptable risks to key natural and human systems, including significant loss of species, major reductions in food-production capacity in developing countries, severe water stress for hundreds of millions of people, and significant sea-level rise and coastal flooding.

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