IPCC Chair at UN Press Conference: G8 Leaders Did Not Take IPCC Recommendations into Account

© IPCC20 July 2009: During a press conference held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said he was encouraged by the climate pledges made by G8 leaders at their recent meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, but expressed his concern that their general commitments fell short of what was required by science.

He explained that the G8 meeting's outcome had been “a bit of a dichotomy,” as the leaders of the largest emitters had agreed to an “aspirational” goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% up to 2050 and that the temperature increase should be limited to 2º C, but they did not take into account the IPCC's recommendation that in order to achieve the 2º C goal, emissions should peak by 2015. He urged more specific pledges in the immediate term, and stated that the clean technologies required already exist or are on the verge of commercialization. He underscored the need for: a policy mix that promotes green development; increased awareness raising about the science of climate change; and the adoption by all countries of measures to adapt and mitigate climate change.

He also addressed: the impacts of climate change on agriculture, in particular on small-scale farmers; the differences between the US and China and other large developing countries over emission reductions targets; the climate policy of the new US Administration; and the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report. [UN press release]