This year's first IPCC report found global warming is almost certainly human caused and the second warned of the consequences already occurring and yet to come such as massive human death and disease, droughts, floods, and storms. The third report said fighting global warming would not undermine the world economy, and would be less costly if started now. Foremost, solutions were said to require greater use of renewable energy and setting a price on carbon to drive up the cost of using fossil fuels. Other key recommendations include not waiting for new technologies and proceeding immediately with policies such as shifting away from coal, embracing energy efficiency, reducing deforestation, implementing fuel taxes and strengthening Kyoto's binding emission limits.
Current Bonn talks are preparing for a meeting of environment ministers in Bali, Indonesia, in December. It is essential formal negotiations are launched in Bali to widen and strengthen the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible, and certainly before the current Kyoto agreement expires in 2012. A new more comprehensive and aggressive international climate change policy must be developed that is sufficient to keep warming within relatively safe parameters. First and foremost, Kyoto's framework for cutting greenhouse emissions must be accelerated and expanded, minimally along the lines of already adopted EU policy to cut carbon gases by 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels (30 percent if other major polluters follow suit). The longer term goal must be to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 or earlier.
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