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article imageGore: Copenhagen just a first step, tougher reductions needed

By Michael Krebs     Dec 5, 2009 in Environment
With the backdrop of 'climategate' investigations and the many Copenhagen presentations yet to be made before world leaders, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore says that anything agreed upon in Copenhagen is not enough.
There is little to deter former U.S. Vice President Al Gore from projecting his belief that humanity is doomed if something is not done urgently to tackle the global warming challenge - a catastrophe that Mr. Gore sees as one that has been caused by mankind. The specter of any "climategate" investigations is a mere sideshow in Al Gore's eyes, as the scientific debate - Gore believes - has been concluded.
Now Mr. Gore is on the record as saying that any treaties agreed in Copenhagen are not enough - and that much more drastic cuts in emissions must be set and achieved by governments around the world.
“Even a final treaty will have to set the stage for other tougher reductions at a later date,” Gore told The Times. “We have already overshot the safe levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
The Copenhagen conference has established a target for worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million. Gore believes the proper global objective should be 350 parts per million.
“Are we doing enough? The answer is obviously no — 450 is not the right target. But it is presently seen as beyond the capacity of governments around the world. We are stretching the capacity of governments even to hit a 450 target,” he said.
But the matter of Copenhagen's agreement principles is likely a moot point, as it is becoming more widely reported that expectations are low the summit will achieve anything of merit.
If Copenhagen has achieved anything, it has brought the matter to the global stage and has motivated developing nations to come up with their own alternative energy planning. It remains to be seen if the world will adapt Mr. Gore's more radical cuts in emissions, but there are certainly a number of positive signs that the world is moving toward cleaner emissions technologies.
And for now, that will likely have to be enough.
More about Gore, Copenhagen, Climate change, Global warming, Cap- -trade
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