GOV’T ADMITS CLIMATE CHANGE WORSE THAN THOUGHT
GREEN MEP CALLS FOR URGENT REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
GREENS have called for an urgent rethink of government policy after a report
published today warns that dangerous climate change is further advanced than
‘Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change’, a synthesis report based on the
February 2005 Climate Change conference in Exeter organised by DEFRA, warns
that a two per cent rise in global average temperature will melt the
Greenland ice cap, raising sea levels by seven metres and destroying the
homes and livelihoods of millions.
The report, which has been peer-reviewed by scientists, says that to have a
reasonable chance of preventing a two-degree temperature hike, the
concentration of greenhouse gas Carbon Dioxide (CO2) should be stabilised at
less than 400 parts per million (ppm).
Caroline Lucas, a Green Party Euro-MP and member of the European
Parliament’s Environment Committee, said the message was clear. “Scientists
agree that climate change is worse than previously thought and that
stabilising CO2 levels is more urgent than ever,” she said.
“The government has repeatedly claimed – not least in three general election
manifestos - that tackling climate change is a top priority.
“But the gap between its rhetoric and action continues to widen, even as the
scientists’ warnings become increasingly urgent. Just today, the
Government’s chief scientific advisor Sir David King admitted that we can
and must reduce atmospheric CO2 levels to 400 ppm, but that doing so would
be politically unfeasible.
“This is a shameless admission of the Government’s dereliction of duty. The
truth is the UK, like the rest of the world, faces a predictable and
devastating tragedy – indeed its first chapters are already unfolding.
“Our government must do everything in its power to reduce CO2 emissions
before it’s too late: that means a complete review of government policy, an
end to road and airport construction and a massive investment in energy
efficiency and renewable technologies – and a renewed embrace of
international mechanisms to persuade the rest of the developed and
industrialized world to do the same.”
Dr Lucas, who commissioned the Association for Conservation of Energy (ACE)
report ‘So Much Hot Air’ last October, which detailed the UK government’s
failure to implement EU law on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, added:
“Scientists are pretty much in agreement about the dangers of doing nothing
to prevent climate change. We need our politicians to wake up – and expend
as much political will on the coming crisis at they might following, for
example, a tsunami which destroyed the UK’s coastal towns and cities
overnight, or even a hostile military invasion.
“Can you imagine the government claiming that defending the country from
invasion would be preferable but politically unfeasible? Of course not – and
its attitude to tackling climate change, which has a far greater potential
for destruction, should be no different.”