Time for ac­tion, not talk­ing

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

might be ad­verse to the well-be­ing of hu­man­ity.’’

This is the same WMO that last month noted at­mo­spheric car­bon diox­ide lev­els had surged to 403.3 ppm last year.

At the cur­rent rate of in­crease, a CO2 con­cen­tra­tion level of 405 ppm will be ex­ceeded this year.

It is now 95 per cent likely that av­er­age global tem­per­a­tures will pass the 2°C thresh­old set by coun­tries only two years ago in the COP21 Paris Agree­ment.

Pro­fes­sor David Frame, Di­rec­tor of the New Zealand Cli­mate Change Re­search In­sti­tute thinks that New Zealand’s cli­mate tar­get is ‘‘ac­tu­ally fine’’.

This de­spite the Cli­mate Ac­tion Tracker see­ing New Zealand’s stand­ing as be­ing ‘‘in­suf­fi­cient’’ be­cause it is not con­sis­tent with the Paris Agree­ment and, if adopted by all, would lead to warm­ing of up to 3°C.

That view is echoed in a re­cent pa­per in the jour­nal Na­ture in which the world’s chances of keep­ing global warm­ing be­low the 2°C dan­ger thresh­old is now only about one in 20 (5 per cent).

So will COP23 in Bonn make a mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence to the world’s prob­a­bil­ity of meet­ing these tar­gets?

Un­likely, and as Dr Jan Wright has said: ‘‘There has been a lot of de­bate around what our tar­gets should be. But I’m much more in­ter­ested in how we are ac­tu­ally go­ing to achieve them.’’

Dr Wright’s Oc­to­ber ‘‘Step­ping Stones to Paris and be­yond’’ re­port gives some very clear ac­tion steps that are also re­flected in the cli­mate change poli­cies of the Green Party.

Last Satur­day, the Mauna Loa Ob­ser­va­tory in Hawaii, mea­sured CO2 lev­els at 404.5 ppm.

Time is run­ning out. It’s long past time to ac­tu­ally take ac­tion.

* John Allen is the di­rec­tor of Ru­ral Con­nect, www.ru­ral­con­nect.org.nz www.smal­l­Wind.co.nz www.small­block.org.nz

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John Allen

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