Based on more than 1,400 studies presented at a congress in March in Copenhagen that attracted some 2,000 scientists from more than 70 countries, the report presents the newest scientific evidence that has emerged since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report came out in 2007.
“The report gives an important overview of what science can tell us today about global warming, and perhaps most importantly what we can do about it,” Professor Katherine Richardson, Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the congress and the writing team, said in a press release.
“I hope the busy negotiators will have time to study the report carefully before they meet in Copenhagen, because a lot of new data have emerged,” the Science Faculty Vice Dean at the University of Copenhagen added.
According to the report, rapid, sustained, and effective mitigation based on coordinated global and regional action is required to avoid “dangerous climate change”.
“Weaker targets for 2020 increase the risk of serious impacts, including the crossing of tipping points, and make the task of meeting 2050 targets more difficult and costly,” the report warns.
“The new report is four years wiser and not filtered by political considerations. It tells the uncomfortable truth that climate change is real,” John Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and co-author of the report, told the Danish engineering journal Ingeniøren.
The synthesis report is intended as an inspiration for decision makers ahead of the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen (COP15) in December this year.
“Once again we have been presented with clear and unequivocal evidence that temperatures are rising – and faster than we even dared think,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said, after having had the report handed over in Brussels, where EU leaders were trying to agree on how to finance poor countries’ adaptation to climate change.
“A precondition for a greenhouse gas emissions cap is that world leaders cooperate on and provide money for projects that are comparable to the lunar landing,” Loekke Rasmussen said, making it clear that each country must commit to binding CO2 targets if global carbon emissions are to stabilize by 2020.