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G8 leaders 'ignored' UN findings on climate change: Pachauri

The world's largest economies have "clearly ignored" the findings of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning UN scientific body that evaluates climate change when formulating their recent proposals on slashing greenhouse gases, a top official said.

world Updated: Jul 21, 2009 12:36 IST

The world's largest economies have "clearly ignored" the findings of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning UN scientific body that evaluates climate change when formulating their recent proposals on slashing greenhouse gases, a top official said.

It was a "big step" for leaders of over one dozen developed nations attending the Major Economies Forum (MEF) to recognise that the global average temperature should not increase by more than two degrees centigrade, Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told reporters here Monday.

But they have disregarded the IPCC's findings that emissions will have to reach their pinnacle in 2015 and rapidly decline thereafter, he said, referring to the meeting of MEF, including the Group of Eight (G8) nations and others, in L'Aquila, Italy July 9.

"If the G8 leaders agreed on this two degree increase as being the limit that could be accepted, then I think they should have also accepted the attendant requirement of global emissions peaking by 2015," Pachauri said.

At the very least, he added, the countries should have "categorically" committed to cuts by 2020, the date agreed to at the landmark 2007 UN climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia.

Pachauri also pointed out that despite committing to "deep cuts" in emissions, the leaders of the MEF nations have yet to discuss the substance of the reductions. "The science is getting clear," he said.

"The gaps in our knowledge are certainly filling up," he said, stressing the need for "the global community to take action" and ensure that this December's climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, ends with countries wrapping up negotiations on a strong successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.

An IPCC meeting in Venice, Italy, last week drew 200 climate change experts from all over the world to discuss the focus of the body's next assessment report - considered to be the most comprehensive study globally on global warming - due to be released in 2014.