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Worst Scenarios Can Still Be Avoided, UN Climate Change Report Claims

Update Date: Apr 14, 2014 09:11 AM EDT
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A United Nations report has suggested that governments can still avert the consequences of climate change if they act in time and aggressively to cut the greenhouse-gas emissions. 

The report warned that global greenhouse-gas emissions have risen more rapidly between 2000 and 2010 than any previous decades. The global economic crisis of 2007 and 2008 certainly reduced emissions but couldn't change the trend, the report added. 

The report warned that delaying actions now will increase costs later and mitigating climate change won't be achieved if companies and governments "advance their own interests independently." 

"Taking action doesn't mean world community has to sacrifice growth...Climate policy isn't a free lunch but could be lunch [that's] worthwhile to buy," added Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC's working group III, according to WSJ

Previously, many other studies have concluded that the earth has already warmed by about 0.8 degree Celsius since 1900. Four years ago, more than 200 governments had agreed to reduce emission to ensure that global temperatures didn't rise by more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, reported WSJ. 

Scientists added that it is crucial to prevent the two-degree temperature rise because beyond it the risks of high-impact changes. U.N. further suggested that two-degree mark is going to be breached sooner than later.

"Policy makers are being given a range of options and they can make whatever decisions they want," said Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, England, and an author of a previous IPCC report, according to WSJ.

The IPCC report emphasized on the fact that worrisome scenarios could still be avoided. "Only major institutional and technological change will give a better than even chance that global warming will not exceed this threshold," the U.N. panel concluded. 

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