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US, China criticize climate report calling for quick action on global warming

US, China criticize climate report calling for quick action on global warming

The United States and China want to change a draft report written by hundreds of the world's leading climate change researchers to play down its conclusion that quick action can limit the catastrophic effects of global warming.
The two countries also raised doubts that immediate moves could stabilize greenhouse gas levels and limit the temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The concerns were among dozens of proposals submitted by 119 governments ahead of this week's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting in Thailand, and were viewed by The Associated Press on Monday.
The views were a preview of what delegates expect will be a fight for much of the week to preserve the key conclusions in the draft IPCC report, which says greenhouse gas emissions can be cut below current levels if the world shifts away from fuels like coal, invests in energy efficiency, reforms the agriculture sector, and works to halt deforestation.
Two previous IPCC reports this year painted a dire picture of a future in which unabated greenhouse gas emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. Even a 2 degree C (3.6 degree F) rise could subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050, and threaten extinction for 20 percent to 30 percent of the world's species, the IPCC said.
The report being debated this week in Bangkok stresses the world must quickly embrace a basket of technological options _ already available and being developed _ to keep the temperature rise to 2 degrees C. More than 200 delegates will examine the IPCC report and recommend changes before it is finalized.
The U.S. wants clauses inserted saying the cost of current available technologies to reduce emissions "could be unacceptably high," and calling for a greater emphasis on "advanced technologies," many of which are aimed at extending the use of coal.
The United States and China criticized the economics in the report, which concludes that stabilizing the greenhouse gases to limit the temperature rise to 2 degrees C would cost less than 3 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) over two decades.
A British government report last year predicted damage from unabated climate change might cost the global economy between 5 percent and 20 percent of GDP every year.
The Chinese delegation, which could not be immediately reached for comment, joined the U.S. in trying to delete language saying the potential to reduce global warming was "significant," and questioning the affordability of taking action.
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On the Net:
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Updated : 2021-04-14 01:53 GMT+08:00