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The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report last Friday in Paris outlining global warming’s threat to humanity.
The report, approved by 113 nations (including the U.S.), was a collaborative effort involving hundreds of scientists and government officials, and took years to assemble.
The document stated there is more than a 90% chance that mankind is to blame for the warming of the past 50 years. It forecasts a grim future, predicting more storms, droughts, heat waves and the dramatic rise of the world’s oceans if action is not taken soon. Most experts claim that if measures are taken now, global disasters can be avoided.
Since the release of the IPCC report, governments have been under increased pressure to find a solution to the climate problem.
French President Jacques Chirac called for the formation of a new environmental body to prevent further climate change. This world body will “evaluate ecological damage” and “support the implementation of environmental decisions.” It holds its first meeting in Morocco this spring.
Mr. Chirac stated, “It is our responsibility. The future of humanity demands it” (AP).
At least 45 nations, mostly European, agreed to take part, with the U.S., China and India deciding not to sign on. It is not yet known whether the group will be able to enforce worldwide climate accords.
The United States—which produces about one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases—has come under fire for not doing enough to fight global warming. It is one of only a few countries that did not ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol pact to lower emissions. Mr. Chirac warned that the U.S. could see a carbon tax on its exports if it fails to sign global climate accords.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, whose documentary about global warming has been nominated for an Oscar, applauded Mr. Chirac’s efforts: “We are at a tipping point…We must act, and act swiftly…Such action requires international cooperation.”
Mr. Gore was also recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in combating global warming.
Most scientists and government leaders believe the debate over whether global warming is a reality is settled, and are now looking to take action.
In May, the IPCC is due to release another document outlining the benefits and costs of slowing global warming and offering a number of choices for policymakers seeking solutions. The United Nations is also considering a summit of world leaders to deal with the problem.
Can mankind find a solution to the earth’s rising temperatures before its effects are irreversible? To learn more about global warming, and how it will affect mankind’s future, read our article “Global Warming – Reason for Alarm?”