G-8 clearly ignored concrete action on climate change:Pachauri

 "The certainty with which we can make projections is getting higher and we think it's time for the global community to take action," Pachauri told reporters at a press conference held at the UN headquarters here.

"We can't put stability and peace at risk by ignoring the impact of climate change," he warned.

Just back from a meeting in Venice where the panel had begun outlining key developments and proposals for its Fifth Assessment Report, to be released in 2014, Pachauri called for unprecedented global cooperation to come up with the right policy mix to comprehensively tackle the "progressively serious" impacts of climate change.

Pachauri said the outcome of the G-8 talks in L'Aquila, Italy, featuring the world's largest emitters, had been "mixed (...) a bit of a dichotomy".

He said the world's wealthiest countries, "clearly ignored what the IPCC came up with" to reach that goal. 

On one hand, the leaders had agreed to a so-called "aspirational" goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent up to 2050, and to seeing that temperature increase did not exceed 2º C.

"But on the other hand, they haven't taken into account the IPCC's formula that if we want to limit the increase to 2º, we have to ensure that emissions peak no later than 2015," Pachauri said.

"They pledged deep cuts (in emissions), but they were not specific about what those cuts will be," he said, stressing that he saw "glaring gaps" that needed to be filled between such pronouncements and policy action in the immediate term, and to limit temperature rise by the end of the century, to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at or near current levels.

Responding to questions, he said the clean technologies required to achieve that were already developed or on the verge of commercialization. Also needed was a mix of policies that would spark that kind of development.

As things stood, all countries, rich and poor, would have to adopt measures to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, he said.

"We must look at the effects on sustainable development -- that should be the ultimate goal," he added. 

Asked about persistent differences between the US and China and other large developing countries over emissions targets, Pachauri said he was hopeful that those could be ironed out in an accord to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, at the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, set to take place in December in Copenhagen.

He said he had been encouraged by US President Barrack Obama's engagement and commitment. Also encouraging had been the swift approval of the American Clean Energy and Security Act by the US House of Representatives last month. However, that climate plan was now headed for the Senate, where a similar outcome was far from certain.

If nations did not reach "a good agreement" in Copenhagen, then clearly, the humanitarian and economic costs would be great, especially for the world's poorest countries and peoples, Pachauri said.

He said, however, "Signs might not look all that bright, but I'm confident that in the end, things will come together (...) at least I hope so". 

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