"Prompt action needed on climate change"

The Hindu , Thursday, June 09, 2005
Correspondent : David Adam
LONDON: United States scientists have increased the pressure on President George Bush and other world leaders to tackle climate change by signing a joint statement calling on G-8 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The statement, from the science academies of the G-8 countries, says the scientific evidence on climate change is now clear enough to compel their leaders to take action.

It says: ``There is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities... The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.''

The statement has been issued ahead of the G-8 summit in Gleneagles in July.

It follows months of negotiations between the U.K.'s Royal Society, which published it on Tuesday, and the other academies.

One source close to the negotiations called the support of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences ``unprecedented''.

In 2001, the U.S. academy declined to sign a similar joint statement because it was preparing its own report on the issue for the Bush administration.

In a separate 1992 report it concluded: ``Despite the great uncertainties, greenhouse warming is a potential threat sufficient to justify action now,'' but until now it has stopped short of making policy recommendations.

SOURCE : The Hindu, Thursday, June 09, 2005

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