“We must act now,” urges climate minister following IPCC report

We can limit the temperature increases this century to under 2 degrees, contends Petersen

The climate and energy minister, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, has called for immediate action in response to the UN IPCC Climate Report, revealed yesterday in Copenhagen, which confirmed that climate change is primarily human-caused and that temperatures could rise by almost 5 degrees this century if nothing is done.

Petersen was adamant that Denmark and the rest of the world must turn away from coal, oil and gas in order to limit the change in temperature and the costs associated with climate change.

”The good news is that if we act now, then the expenses are manageable, as Denmark has shown,” Petersen said in a press release.

”Out GDP has risen while our CO2 emissions have dropped. We mustn't be afraid to increase our ambitions in international negotiations about a climate agreement. I hope everyone has understood the message. The time of doubt is over. The time to act has arrived.”

READ MORE: IPCC releases climate report in Copenhagen

Emissions drastically reduced
The IPCC report (here is the synthesis report in English) underlined that the temperature increases can be kept under 2 degrees if the global emission of greenhouse gases is drastically reduced by up to 70 percent by 2050 compared to today.

Fact Box

Central points of the new IPCC Climate Report:

 – Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate change has had widespread impact on human and nature systems

– The period from 1983 to 2012 was most probably the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years in the Northern Hemisphere

– The warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen

– Delaying action will substantially increase the challenges to limit global warming below 2 degrees – relative to pre-industrial levels

– In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impact on nature and human systems on all continents and in all oceans.

– Surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all emission scenarios, with much of it occurring in the oceans. Heatwaves are likely to occur more often and last longer, and extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent.

– Many aspects of climate change and associated impacts will continue for centuries, even if anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are stopped. The risks of abrupt or irreversible changes increase as the magnitude of the warming increases

– Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.

– Tackling climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to limit the risks.

– Without additional mitigation, warming poses a high risk of severe, widespread and irreversible impacts globally by 2100.

– If temperatures were to rise above 4 degrees, risks include substantial species extinction as well as global and regional food insecurity.

– Impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult and further erode food security,

– Climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions – especially in low-income developing countries.

– Emissions can be substantially reduced through changes in consumption patterns and adoption of energy savings measures.