James Hansen at Bonn: The world needs to step it up if the Paris Agreement goals are to be achieved

Top scientist’s warning at Bonn: Paris targets ‘too low’, progress too slow

A top scientist who famously announced 30-years-ago that global warning was underway, has warned delegates at Bonn that their climate targets are too low, and that world needs to sharply cut down emissions and suck billions of tonnes of CO2 from the air to prevent today’s youth from future disasters.

Head of NASA’’s Goddard Institute until 2013, James Hansen, whose 18-yr-old granddaughter sued the US government for adding to the problem, added that the liberal governments were ignoring the problem by only taking baby steps, and keeping fossil fuels cheap. There were bigger problems than ‘Trump-type’ governments who were in the pockets of fossil fuel industry, he said.

‘We wIll lose our coastal cities, only question is how fast?’

Thousands of diplomats at the 12-day, 196-nation talks are haggling over the fine print of a ‘rulebook’ for a treaty that will go into effect in 2020.

The 2015 Paris Agreement called for capping global warming at 2°C. However, with only one degree of warming amplifying deadly heatwaves, superstorms and droughts, the Paris treaty also vows to explore the feasibility of holding the line at 1.5°C.

‘If we go to 2°C, it is guaranteed that we will lose our shorelines and coastal cities’ said Hansen. ‘The only question is how fast.’

UN Emissions Gap Report

The eighth UN Emissions Gap Report has warned that current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) will cover only one third of the emissions reductions needed for the world to achieve the 2°C target, which will therefore created a dangerous gap that even non-state actors would not be able to close.

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