Sir Nicholas Stern, lead author of the Stern report has reconsidered his position and has concluded that his previous report, indicating a modest net benefit to sustained modest cuts in greenhouse gas emissions was wrong!
So is it time to tell Inhofe to add another name to the list? no…
The [original Stern] report argued that emissions would need to be cut to at least 25 per cent below current levels if a dangerous temperature rise of over two degrees is to be avoided – a scenario the report argued would trigger an economic crisis on the scale of the Great Depression. Such a reduction would require a cut in emissions from developed economies in the region of 60 per cent, a target the government subsequently adopted as part of its climate change bill.
But speaking in an interview with Reuters yesterday, Lord Stern admitted the report underestimated the scale and pace of climate change and urged politicians to step up action to curb emissions.
He said that the latest climate science showed that not only were emissions rising faster than thought, the ability of the earth to absorb carbon dioxide in so-called carbon sinks was deteriorating faster than expected.
“Emissions are growing much faster than we’d thought, the absorptive capacity of the planet is less than we’d thought, the risks of greenhouse gases are potentially bigger than more cautious estimates, and the speed of climate change seems to be faster,” he said.
Stern added that to minimise the risks of dangerous climate change, the original target for global emissions would have to be doubled to a 50 per cent cut by 2050. He said that such a target would require the US to cut its emissions by up to 90 per cent by then.
The US needs to cut its net emissions by 90 per cent by 2050! eep!