Global carbon emissions reach record 10 billion tons, threatening 2 degree target
As politicians dither and bicker in Durban in climate change negotiations to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol, a new study indicates that global emissions are up 49% since 1990 (which was Kyoto’s base year for emissions reductions). Meanwhile, Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent, confirmed in Durban that his Conservative government would not commit to a second round of Kyoto, saying that Ottawa wants Kyoto to be replaced with an international treaty that would include all major emitters, including the United States, China and India.
Fine. But any such treaty will likely not be negotiated until 2020, which will be too late to keep warming below the 2 degree threshold, as world leaders agreed to do two years ago in Copenhagen. Many climate scientists feel that 2 degrees is the absolute maximum amount of warming that we can tolerate before we are likely to see catastrophic climate impacts. So, Mr Kent, if not Kyoto, what is your plan exactly?