The UK Energy Secretary has used new research from the Met Office to warn the international community of climate change inaction. According to the report from the Hadley Centre a rise in temperature of between three and five degrees Celsius could lead to devastating consequences such as increased pressure on crop production, water stress and flood risks.
The report examined 24 developed and developing countries. All have warmed since the 1960s. Chris Huhne said: “Life for millions of people could change forever, with water and food supplies being placed in jeopardy and homes and livelihoods under threat. This makes the challenge of reducing emissions ever more urgent.”
The report claims that by the end of the century up to 49 million additional people could be at risk due to coastal flooding from sea level rises in areas such as Bangladesh, China, India, Egypt and Indonesia and the production of staple food crops may decline in parts of Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Russia, Turkey, and the USA.
Speaking to delegates in Durban Chris Huhne confirmed the UK Government was committed to the Kyoto agreement despite it losing interest from other major players: “The UK remains fully committed to Kyoto. Together with the EU, we have already stated that we are willing to move to a second commitment period. But we will not do so alone. We need others to move, too. We need a clear roadmap to a wider framework, and guaranteed environmental integrity.
“Such a deal may be beyond our reach this year. But there is much we can do to prepare for it. We must build on the Cancun Accord, setting up the global climate architecture: including climate finance, adaptation, forests, technology and measuring and reporting emissions.”