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World has 8 years left to save climate: UN

A report warns that emissions must start declining by 2015 to prevent the earth's temperature from rising further.

tech reviews Updated: May 31, 2007 11:02 IST

Climate experts and representatives from 105 countries on Friday released a 24-page report on means of mitigating the worse impacts of global warming after five days of heated debates to reach a consensus on the document.

The report, which focuses on the economic implications and technological options for tackling global warming, states that emissions must start declining by 2015 to prevent the world's temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrialised temperatures.

The report also states that the low costs of buying insurance, through the use of technologies currently available, to avoid a climatic catastrophe in the coming decades is less than 0.1 per cent of world GDP per annum.

"The naysayers have always said that this will wreck our economies," said Hans Verolme, director of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature's (WWF's) Global Climate Change Programme.

Verolme adds that the cost of doing nothing is 20 times worse than paying for technologies today.

"It's a great report and the conclusions are quite strong," said Greenpeace's Bill Hare, one of the lead authors of the report.

The panel's first report, released on February in Paris, confirmes that global warming was happening while the second, issued in April in Brussels, focused on the impact of the phenomenon on the world's populations and species.

China played a lead role in the third report by sending the largest delegation to Bangkok.

The Bangkok meeting of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) attracted 30 of the world's leading climate experts and more than 217 government representatives from 105 countries whose task it is to fine-tune the report, which seeks international consensus on how to reduce greenhouse gases and, perhaps more importantly, how much it would cost.

Many climate experts claim that the costs of saving the planet are miniscule compared with global warming's potential damages, but it is important that politicians also acknowledge this in the IPCC's third report of 2007.