Much Tougher Targets Needed for a Safe Climate are Economically Affordable, Even Profitable say Leading Scientists

Dec 16, 2009, 01:00 ET from Environment Institute, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, The Energy and Resources Institute

COPENHAGEN, December 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launch A Copenhagen Prognosis: towards a safe climate future, a synthesis of the latest science on climate change, environment and development.

The Prognosis will be launched at a press conference at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 15) on Wednesday 16 December at 19:30. Copies will be available in Copenhagen at COP 15 (Bella Centre) and online at

    The Prognosis presents a concise diagnosis of the state of the bioshpere
and observed trends and offers a treatment plan that is consistent with a
2degreesC warming threshold, equity and economic development. Among it's key
conclusions are that:

- Emerging scientific results suggest that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission

      reductions targets currently being tabled are not consistent with the
      expressed political will to protect humanity against high risks of
      devastating climate impacts and significant risks of self-amplifying
      global warming.

- Based on the available carbon budget, and if we are to have a good (75

      per cent) chance for warming to stay below 2degreesC, global GHG
      emissions would almost certainly need to decline extremely rapidly
      after 2015, and reach essentially zero by midcentury.

    - There is no evidence suggesting it is impossible to rise to this
      challenge. To the contrary, the growing body of analytical work
      examining such scenarios at the global and regional level suggest
      it is not only technically feasible but also economically affordable,
      even profitable.

"The Prognosis addresses head on the issue of an equitable deal, and goes on to describe some of the ways in which deep emission cuts are practically and economically feasible, in developed and developing countries," said Professor Johan Rockstrom, executive director, Stockholm Environment Institute.

    The Prognosis was developed by a group of the world's leading scientists
and researchers on global change, including Professor John Schellnhuber
(PIK), Professor Johan Rockstrom (SEI), Professor Nebojsa Nakicenovic
(IIASA), Dr Leena Srivastava (TERI) and Professor V. Ramanathan (Scripps
Institution of Oceanography). In addition, it has been endorsed by the German
Development Institute and leading climate scholars such as Professor Matt
England (University of New South Wales) and Professor Jim McCarthy (Harvard).


Stockholm Environment Institute, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, The Energy and Resources Institute