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IPCC: emissions cuts are about ethics as well as economics

By Frank Jotzo and David Stern

The dramatic cuts in emissions needed to limit global warming to 2°C raise not just technical and economic challenges but also profound questions of ethics and values.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

By Frank Jotzo, Australian National University and David Stern, Australian National University

The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that global greenhouse gas emissions have grown faster than ever over the last decade. Taking action to achieve the world’s goal of limiting global warming to 2°C will mean making dramatic cuts in emissions. This raises not just technical and economic challenges, but also profound questions of ethics and values – such as the responsibility we bear towards future generations, and our attitude to the risk of very severe climate change damages.

The Working Group 3 report – released today as the third and final volume in the current IPCC Fifth Assessment Report – assesses the options for mitigating climate change. It draws on almost 10,000 research papers to map out our knowledge about past, present and future greenhouse emissions, and sets out the ways in which we might attempt to reduce them.

Emissions have grown faster than ever

The report shows that since 2000, world greenhouse gas emissions have grown much more rapidly than in previous decades. This is mainly because of rapid growth...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.