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expert reaction to Lima climate negotiations

The UN is holding a conference in Peru on climate change, with the aim of establishing a new treaty.


Prof. Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology at University College London (UCL), said:

“Climate change is one of the great challenges facing humanity this century and after 25 years of negotiation we are close to getting nearly 200 countries to agree to take decisive action.

“Though the weak text emerging from Lima is extremely disappointing there are still 12 months for the negotiators to up their game before the critical Paris COP. Essential to this is for the negotiators to understand that the world’s public expect a global legally binding treaty. Not because it is enforceable, as we know they are not, but it shows commitment to a safe, better and hopefully more equitable world.”


Prof. Martin Siegert, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, said:

“The scientific reasons for why substantial, binding, and long-term international agreement on greenhouse gas emission restriction is unequivocal.  Agreements short of what are required may be steps in the right direction, but unless improved upon will lead to serious negative future consequences for our how we live.

“Attention will now turn to the climate summit in Paris in 12 months, which will now become an even more critical moment for joint economic, social and environmental sustainability.”


Dr Chris Huntingford, a climate modeller at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said:

“Whatever one’s view on climate change, the equations that describe how the world’s weather systems operate do imply that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will create warming and significantly alter rainfall patterns. The world’s politicians might decide that we are so reliant on burning fossil fuels that to rapidly reduce oil consumption would cause serious problems to the global economy. However such a course of action indicates that major schemes are needed to adapt to adjusted weather systems.

“All this implies a very serious equity issue, because the world’s poorest have gained the least from the lifestyles that burning fossil fuels enables, and yet they are probably the least able to respond to any adjusted levels of droughts or floods caused by such greenhouse gas emissions.”


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