United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted Monday that even if global warming can’t be seen or felt by humans, the world should still agree to an international treaty to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
“We are living in a world of peril,” Ban tells Mashable, according to ThinkProgress. “This climate change, even if it is not visible, is the worst threat to human beings.”
Ban wants countries to limit CO2 emissions to stem projected global warming to just 2 degrees Celsius, the level beyond which environmentalists say warming will be dangerous to civilization. Current CO2 reduction pledges from countries, however, aren’t even close to keeping global warming below 2 degrees based on some climate models — which have been consistently wrong about global warming.
“This agreement should have a long term ambitious vision,” Ban says. “Unfortunately, our world has a fever. The prescription should have a 2°C limit.”
Ban also wants rich countries to pledge $100 billion a year to poor countries to help them adapt to global warming and make sure countries can be held accountable for CO2 and funding pledges.
U.N. delegates are currently meeting in Paris to hash out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol — the first global agreement to cut emissions. Kyoto was a huge failure in terms of reducing global CO2 emissions, and some countries are hesitant to make more pledges if China and India don’t move to cut emissions.
China pledged to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and increase green energy use, but the country has given no firm plan on making actual cuts to emissions. India has also resisted calls to cut emissions, saying it’s more important to provide its citizens with higher standards of living — something that can’t be done without coal or oil.
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