Civil G8 2006

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Launch of the 'Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change' Book in the US


NEW YORK, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's leading economies, including the US, Australia, China and India, must develop a strong international framework so that urgent and ambitious action to combat climate change can take place, the UK's lead international climate change director Henry Derwent said today (May 9).

Launching the "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change" book in the United States, Mr. Derwent urged developed countries to reach a consensus on the scale of action needed to stabilize the climate and avoid dangerous climate change.

"This must now be a serious and urgent priority for all governments," he told a climate change media briefing at JP Morgan Chase in New York.

Mr. Derwent highlighted the climate change work the UK was taking forward following its successful G8 and EU Presidencies, saying it was vital the UK -- together with its EU partners and the rest of the international community -- worked together to help India, China, Brazil and other large emerging nations to evolve as low-carbon economies.

The UK launched last year a new initiative on near-zero emissions coal with carbon capture and storage to help address the challenge of tackling increasing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of coal in China.

Amy Davidsen, director of environmental affairs at JP Morgan Chase said: "As a bank committed to the environment, we recognize climate change as one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. It is an honor to host the UK Government and the book's distinguished authors who are addressing the issue and ways to slow the damaging effects that can be caused by carbon emissions."

The book, which is based on the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change conference, held in Exeter in February, 2005, concluded that:

-- climate change is the most serious long-term environmental challenge
the world faces;

-- natural and human habitats will face increasing damage if the globe
warms between 1-3 degrees Celsius above current levels;

-- a regional increase above present levels of 2.7 degrees Celsius may be
a threshold that triggers melting of the Greenland ice-cap, while an
increase in global temperatures of about 1 degree Celsius is likely to
lead to extensive coral bleaching;

-- serious risk of large scale, irreversible system disruption, such as
reversal of the land carbon sink and possible destabilization of the
Antarctic ice sheet is more likely above 3 degrees Celsius. Such levels
are well within the range of projected climate change this century;

-- technological options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the
long-term already exist, and significant reductions can be made using a
portfolio of options at a cost smaller than previously thought as long
as action is taken early; and

-- a portfolio of options is needed to make low-level climate
stabilization easier. Multigas strategies, emissions trading, optimal
timing and strong technology development, diffusion and trading are
required to keep emission levels down.


1) The book, "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change" has been prepared by an editorial board, led by Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and is published by Cambridge University Press, price ??70. More details are available at

2) A document to go with the "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change Book" has today been released by Defra. It contains a foreword by Dennis Tirpak, chair of the conference international scientific steering committee and an executive summary of the book. It can be found on the Defra website at:

3) The book, which was unveiled in the UK on January 31, 2006, is being formally launched at JP MorganChase, New York in the US today by Henry Derwent the UK's lead international climate negotiator.

4) The International Symposium on Stabilisation of Greenhouse Gas

Concentrations -- Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change -- took place at the invitation of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair under the sponsorship of Defra at the Met Office, Exeter on February 1-3, 2005. Information on the conference is available at

5) Follow-up events to the Conference were held at the meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in June and at the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Montreal in December.

6) The book will provide input into the UNFCCC's Fourth Assessment Report, which will be launched in 2007.

7) Further information is available on the British Embassy website in the US at

Press enquiries 020 7238 6054; Public enquiries 08459 335577; Press notices are available on our website's aim is sustainable development To subscribe or unsubscribe to Defra's mailing list go to: on the GNN website see Sign up


Expert opinion

Halter Marek


Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing


Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi


Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace


Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal


Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group

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