An official German scientific advisory group has urged radical near-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid "intolerable" climate change. The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) said yesterday that developed countries, including central and eastern European states, should make binding commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 11%, 23%, 43% and 77% by 2005, 2010, 2020 and 2050. Unless these levels are reached, the WBGU said, climate change would have intolerable environmental and economic impacts, including a warming in excess of 0.2 degrees centigrade per decade and a more than 5% reduction in world gross national product. Emissions reductions should be made as rapidly as possible to keep implementation costs within manageable limits, the group recommended. In order to achieve the necessary emissions cuts at global level, newly industrialising developing countries might have to make similar commitments to the developed countries, it said. Per capita emissions in all countries should converge by around 2050, relative to 1992 population levels. The WBGU was created in 1992 by the German government, which requested yesterday's study. The group's recommendations are taken seriously by the government, an environment ministry official told ENDS Daily today.
German Advisory Council on Global Change, tel: +49 471 4831 218
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