Climate Change Imperils the State of the Planet–Will the World Act?

From Scientific American:

Climate-change-imperils-state-of-the-planet_1 NEW YORK CITY—More than 100 countries have signed on to the Copenhagen Accord—the nonbinding agreement to combat climate change hastily agreed to this past December at a summit of world leaders. As signatories, the countries agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions to keep global average temperatures from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius. The countries that have signed up to date represent more than 80 percent of the global emissions of such heat- wrapping gases. “Climate change is one of the most important challenges humanity faces today,” said Mexico President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa via teleconference at the State of the Planet gathering at Columbia University hosted by its Earth Institute on March 25. “This is urgent, we need to act now as countries and as governments.”

As part of signing on, countries also listed their national goals for emission reductions. Mexico, for its part, pledged to cut 50 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2012. The U.S. pledged to reduce emissions by 4 percent below 1990 levels, pending legislation, whereas China promised cuts of 40 to 45 percent of the total CO2 per unit of economic production, so-called carbon intensity. And it will fall to Calderón and his colleagues in the Mexican government as hosts of the next climate change negotiation meetings in Cancún this November to continue progress toward an international, binding agreement. After all, without a legally binding treaty there will be no accountability on greenhouse gas emissions, warned United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the conference.

More here.