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Rockström: risk that climate goals will be missed

Published fredag 11 december 2015 kl 19.42
Paris on Friday. Photo: Beatrice Janzon/Sveriges Radio
Paris on Friday. Photo: Beatrice Janzon/Sveriges Radio

The latest draft version of a climate deal in Paris is lacking the percentages of carbon cuts needed to limit warming to 1.5C or 2C. Professor Johan Rockstrom of the Stockholm Resilience Centre was speaking as the COP21 talks headed towards decision day. 

Professor Johan Rockström says that there are elements of the most recent draft which increase the risk of missing climate goals. 

"If you choose to stay as far as possible below two degrees Celsius, then you have to see that it requires extremely ambitious targets in terms of emission reductions over the coming decades.

"It requires, for example, that one retains the goal of 70-95 percent emission reductions by 2050, in order that there is some credibility in setting such a goal. And now that is missing," he tells Swedish Radio News.

He says that the draft text does not mention the percentages of emissions reductions, rather that one should strive for greenhosue gas neutrality. Also that the supply of greenhouse gases must be balanced with the carbon dioxide taken out of the atmosphere in various ways.

"So for example, Saudi Arabia can continue to sell and take up the oil and to have carbon storage as its technology. And Brazil can say we have zero greenhouse gas emissions in that our forests absorb more carbon dioxide."  

John Schellnhuber, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, welcomed 1.5C being in the current Paris draft text, but wrote that it was not clear in the draft of how to get there.

"What I feel is insufficient in the current treaty is that if you say 1.5C then you need [to be] phasing out CO2 by the middle of this century. You need zero carbon emissions by 2050. If that would also appears in the text than I would be more than happy, and entitled to open a bottle of champagne at Champs Élysées."

France said on Friday evening that it hopes the text will be released at 9am, Saturday. The Paris Committee will meet at noon, and the final plenary will be at 2pm. 

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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