John Gummer

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Blueprint for a Green Economy - Conservative Quality of Life Group
Chaired by the Rt Hon John Gummer & Zac Goldmsmith - September 2007

“But why act now? Why not wait until the scientists can give us more conclusive information on the risks and the economists can give us a more reliable cost benefit analysis? The reality is simple. We know that every molecule of CO2 that we add to the atmosphere will stay there for at least 100 years. Therefore, with every year that passes we may be locking ourselves into a potentially bigger and more expensive problem even it were not to become utterly disastrous.” Page 377

“The British Government took a welcome lead in adopting on a unilateral basis the 2050 goal to reduce emissions by 60%. That aspiration was rooted in the soundest science available at the time, which suggested that this level of cuts was necessary to contain temperature increases below a 2°C threshold above pre-industrial levels beyond which risks were considered to be unacceptable (RCEP).” Page 378

“We should consider what is necessary to be what is practical. On current trends, it won’t be long before we are being told that we are too late to stabilise at 550ppm, at which point we are in very dangerous territory. We must not encourage the view that if the target proves too hard, we just move it. The climate won’t wait.”Page 380

The Climate Change Committee should also be asked to give an early opinion on the adequacy of the 2020 and 2050 statutory targets. This should flow from judgments formed on the appropriate stabilisation target for concentration of greenhouse gases that is compatible with 2°C and transparent assumptions on an equitable share for the UK and other developed economies. Page 384

“There is no shortage of plausible frameworks for a long term global deal on the table, not least the intellectually and morally coherent principle of Contraction & Convergence.” Page 404

(Coherent = Dodecahedrance).