Atmospheric CO2 concentration of 350 ppm was not a target, it was a safety limit
In December 2015, the 21st Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will be held in Paris. Around the world, citizens, organizations, institutions and governments are reacting to the IPCC 5th Report and calling for urgent action to arrest the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in order to limit climate warming to less than 2oC. The IPCC’s 80% reduction below 1990 gross greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is not a target, rather it is a climate system failure limit. The climate science has resolved the risks of adding 550 Gt more carbon to the atmosphere as carrying unacceptable risks of catastrophic failure of essential systems across the entire planet.
Our country’s target to reduce emissions as our contribution to the new international climate change agreement should be ambitious and begin immediately. We should transition to an economy not dependent on oil use given our geographic isolation and our economy’s exposure to imported oil.
This event will feature a panel from the Wise Response Society, led by Sir Alan Mark, Emeritus Professor of Botany, Otago University. The panellists will give a short presentation on the WR recommendation for NZ’s carbon commitment followed by one hour for discussion. The WR team will be presenting their submission to a public hearing of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee at Parliament at 10:00am 1 July.
The Wise Response is an on-going open petition appeal to New Zealand’s Parliament to comprehensively assess imminent risks to our environmental, social, economic and cultural well-being. The appeal was launched in May 2013 with signatures of 100 prominent New Zealanders, and a petition was presented to Parliament in April 2014 with more than 1000 signatures.