A former head of the UK’s Met Office has dismissed any possibility of the world limiting global warming to 2°C.
Speaking at the GLOBE International summit of climate change legislators, Lord Hunt of Chesterton said while he was confident a global deal to curb emissions would happen, it would come too late to stay within the safe boundary set by climate scientists.
“I think it [a UN climate deal] will happen, but it will be slower, certainly too slow for the 2°C target,” Lord Hunt told RTCC.
“The Chinese are on long-term calculations of 4°C [of warming] over mainland China. Sea level is rising so we need really good systems now to prepare for these climatic extremes and changes. It will be even worse than that unless we start reducing our carbon emissions,” he said.
Bob Watson, former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the body that compiles the latest academic work on climate change, made a similar claim in August 2012.
“I have to look back (on successive climate change summits) Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban and say that I can’t be overly optimistic. To be quite candid the idea of a 2°C target is largely out of the window,” he told the BBC.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) meanwhile urges a rapid shift away from fossil fuels in order to stay with the 2°C limit warning however that this opportunity will be lost by 2017.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers consultancy has suggested 6°C of warming is more realistic.
RTCC Video: Lord Hunt on the prospects of a global climate deal