IPCC Global Call for Action on Climate Change. By Joseph Coleman, The Associated Press, May 4, 2007. "Under the most stringent scenario, the report said the world must stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2015 -- eight years from now -- to keep global temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over preindustrial levels.
Delegates said the approval of the report should conclusively debunk arguments by skeptics that combatting global warming was too costly, that it would stifle development in the world's poorer countries or that the temperature rise had gone too far for humankind to do anything about. 'If we continue doing what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble,' cautioned Ogunlade Davidson, the chair of one of the working groups at the weeklong conference in Bangkok, Thailand...
Coming out of the meeting early Friday, delegates said science appeared to have trumped politics -- especially opposition from booming China, which wanted language inserted allowing for a greater buildup of greenhouse gases in the environment before action would be taken... Delegates at the meeting had wrestled over how to share the burden of cutting emissions, how much such measures would cost, and how much weight to give certain policy measures, such as advanced nuclear power, an option supported by the United States.
'This is still an excellent report,' French delegate Michel Petit said, adding that China and the other developing countries ended up compromising on all major issues. 'Nothing important was removed during the process'... The report follows two studies by the IPCC earlier this year warning that unabated greenhouse gas emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, triggering a surge in ocean levels, destruction of vast numbers of species, economic devastation in tropical zones and mass human migrations.
Even the most stringent efforts outlined in the report, however, would not save the globe from suffering. An increase in temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit could still subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050 and threaten extinction for 20 to 30 percent of the world's species, the IPCC said."