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Call for action over climate change

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 29, 2014

Call for action over climate change
Comments (3)

The world faces a “bleak future” without action to tackle climate change, campaigners warned ahead of a major new report on the impacts of global warming.

The latest study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to warn of damage to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world.

Ahead of the report’s publication, environmentalists called on politicians to break the world’s dependency on fossil fuels to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Rising global temperatures, droughts and heat waves will threaten food supplies and human health, while hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding, according to leaked versions of the report, which is published on Monday.

Climate change will cause economic losses, exacerbate poverty and increase migration and risks from violent conflict as well as causing damage to wildlife and habitats, the study by experts from around the world is expected to warn.

In Europe, heat waves, droughts and heavy rainstorms will increase and there will be a greater risk of coastal and river flooding, it is expected to say, while heat-related deaths will also increase.

Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said: “We face a bleak future if the world continues to ignore the grim scientific warnings of our failure to tackle global warming.

“Droughts, floods and famines are just some of the devastating effects that people around the world are already suffering from more frequent extreme weather - and, unless we take urgent measure, it will get far worse.

“We have the ability to build a cleaner, safer future, but our leaders lack the courage to act.

“Politicians must break our dependency on coal, gas and oil – and stand up to the fossil fuel industry which is powering the planet towards catastrophic climate change.”

Sally Uren, chief executive from Forum for the Future, which advises businesses and governments on sustainability, said: “The IPCC report should be read as a vital wake-up call.

“It is now more clear than ever that the risk to society from climate change is real and that large-scale action is needed now, by all of us, to both cut our carbon emissions, and also to accelerate the pace at which we adapt to a rapidly changing climate.

“The report should be taken as a stark reminder of our utter dependency on the natural world. Access to food, water and shelter is a basic human need. Climate change threatens to prevent this access, in the developed and developing world alike.

“We can’t and shouldn’t put our faith solely in governments to fix the mess we are in. The solutions we need to see for both effective mitigation and adaption will also need to come from wider civil society, and from business,” she added.

Rob Elsworth, climate and policy analyst at aid agency Cafod, said: “The IPPC report along with the evidence we’re seeing on the ground in developing countries shows climate change is the single biggest threat to poverty reduction that exists today.

“It has the potential to undermine years of hard-won gains in improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

“We have the means to end poverty within our lifetimes, but not if we don’t tackle climate change, by cutting our emissions and helping poor people to cope with its impacts.”

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  • imarcus  |  March 29 2014, 12:30PM

    imarcus We would be better served, if instead of repeating this IPCC publicity hype, you followed the lead of the Wall Street Journal, whose recent article (28th March) by Matt Ridley (House of Lords) who has researched the actual science behind the IPCC and discovered that in reality, the IPCC Working Group 2 have backed down from their previous alarmist stance very considerably, to the extent that the contribution of the extra CO2 which might or might not be due to humanity is really quite trivial, probably only 0.1 deg.C of the last century's warming, and if indeed the CO2 levels are doubled its contribution to future warming might be of the order of 1 deg.C. Against that, satellite images show that over the last 30 years or so, the modest rise in CO2 has led to a 14% increase in plant cover over the world's land masses, to the benefit of all, through increased agricultural output. Paleo temperatures from ice cores consistently show that over the past several hundred thousand years that the global temperatures have behaved exactly as our recent past, in oscillating as shown through the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age temperature range as a perfectly natural phenomenon, and without any help from burning fossil fuels. At this point we are still recovering from the Little Ice Age temperature minimum in a natural manner and temperature range. Controlling climate change through bashing fossil fuel use -- a ridiculous concept!! In the longer term, comparison between the last interglacial, the Eemian, with this one, the Holocene suggests that over the next few (Unknown number) thousand years we will be slipping into the next major glacial epoch.

    Rate   3
  • DevoDozer  |  March 29 2014, 10:53AM

    This is just a regurgitation of another IPCC press release. I believe it refers to a "report" from which a number of proper scientists have been brave enough to go public on their wish not to be associated with. This mostly due to its overly alarmist nature. Still, the IPCC & all the other drones depend upon it for their funding & comfortable life styles. Thanks WMN for playing your part in keeping us all frightened. If you want more balanced commentary & properly scientific consideration, have a look at these independent sources in the UK & Australia http://tinyurl.com/3eznq7b and http://tinyurl.com/6ly7jpt

    Rate   5
  • Tony248i  |  March 29 2014, 10:31AM

    Can one of these people find the volume control on the Sun? If so, turn it down a bit. And while they are at it, find an explanation for all the previous changes in climate throughout the history of the planet- almost all of them when Mankind wasn't even dreamt of.

    Rate   5