James Hansen: Copenhagen climate change talks must fail  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The Guardian has an article on James Hansen, who thinks the Copenhagen "summit talks are so flawed that deal would be a disaster" - Copenhagen climate change talks must fail, says top scientist.

The scientist who convinced the world to take notice of the looming danger of global warming says it would be better for the planet and for future generations if next week's Copenhagen climate change summit ended in collapse.
James Hansen talks to Suzanne Goldenberg Link to this audio

In an interview with the Guardian, James Hansen, the world's pre-eminent climate scientist, said any agreement likely to emerge from the negotiations would be so deeply flawed that it would be better to start again from scratch.

"I would rather it not happen if people accept that as being the right track because it's a disaster track," said Hansen, who heads the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

"The whole approach is so fundamentally wrong that it is better to reassess the situation. If it is going to be the Kyoto-type thing then [people] will spend years trying to determine exactly what that means." He was speaking as progress towards a deal in Copenhagen received a boost today, with India revealing a target to curb its carbon emissions. All four of the major emitters – the US, China, EU and India – have now tabled offers on emissions, although the equally vexed issue of funding for developing nations to deal with global warming remains deadlocked.

Hansen, in repeated appearances before Congress beginning in 1989, has done more than any other scientist to educate politicians about the causes of global warming and to prod them into action to avoid its most catastrophic consequences. But he is vehemently opposed to the carbon market schemes – in which permits to pollute are bought and sold – which are seen by the EU and other governments as the most efficient way to cut emissions and move to a new clean energy economy.

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