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Society

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Dix ans pour inverser le mouvement

by P-H. L, Special Correspondent

Global Warming: Ten Years to Change Direction

Translated Saturday 8 November 2008, by Jonathan Pierrel

Interview with Jean Jouzel, Vice President of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

HUMA: Do you confirm the conclusions of the
Global Carbon Project
which show that the evolution of greenhouse gas emissions is beyond the highest range determined by the IPCC?

Jouzel: Absolutely. As these experts point out, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted between 2000 and 2008 is superior to the previous decade. This increase is the consequence of the sharp rise of discharge produced by emerging countries such as China or India. If this tendency continues, the world climate will rise by 4 or 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the twenty-first century. To reach the world objective to cut gas emissions by fifty percent from their level in 2002 by 2050, they will have to start decreasing in ten years. This means that within the next ten years we need to stabilise the level of our emissions. To do so while they have never increased so quickly is quite a challenge.

HUMA: Don’t you fear that the economic and financial crisis will force the fight against global warming into the background?

Jouzel: This world crisis must not be used to postpone this fight indefinitely. It has to be understood that global warming exacerbate economic and social problems. The technologies that we have now enable us to cut greenhouse gas emissions without affecting the gross domestic product. Of course, one cannot rely on the same effort from all countries to reach the objectives. Regional disparities in terms of contribution to global warming, of development or of vulnerability to climate changes must be taken into account. Western countries will have to make most of the efforts. But emerging and developing countries must also take part in this.

HUMA: Do you think mobilisation on the regional level is relevant?

Jouzel: Commitments from States are absolutely necessary, but regions also play a role in this. The set of local authorities can help achieve the necessary mobilisation of the people. Furthermore, the policies that they adopt in terms of transport, urbanism, housing, or even concerning the development of renewable energies can be decisive steps to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.


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