IEA, chems warm to IPCC climate change report

02 February 2007 15:43  [Source: ICIS news]

Industry reacts to climate change report

By Mark Watts

LONDON (ICIS news)--The International Energy Agency (IEA) and several key chemical industry players have welcomed a wide-ranging report on climate change, saying it highlighted the urgent need for coordinated action to address global warming.

The report, released on Friday by the International Report on Climate Change (IPCC), concluded that global warming was “very likely” caused by man, with hotter temperatures and sea level rises due to continue for centuries regardless of policy changes.

The study, which also prompted reaction from major chemical companies and industry trade organisations,
found that temperatures were probably going to increase by 1.8-4°C (3.2-7.2°F) by the end of the century.

It projected that sea levels were most likely to rise by 28-43cm, and global warming was likely to influence the intensity of tropical storms.


“The IEA estimates that under current global policies, global emissions will increase 50% by 2030 and more than double by 2050,” it said in a statement.


“However if we act now, this dangerous and unsustainable pattern can be curved and emissions could be reduced to current levels by 2050,” it added.


The IPCC concluded that it was at least 90% certain human emissions of greenhouse gases were warming the planet's surface, upping its estimate from the 2001 report, which saw a 66-90% probability.


Chemical major Dow said on its website that although the exact results of increased greenhouse gas emissions were not yet fully understood, it would take aggressive action to mitigate it.


“Dow will reduce our own GHG emissions intensity by 2.5 percent per year through 2015 from a 2005 base, and by 2025, we aspire to reduce absolute emissions within the company,” said a company statement.


The UK Chemicals Industry Association (CIA) accepted the evidence and agreeed that man’s impact needed to be addressed, advocating a balanced approach to the process on a global basis.


“We want to continue the EU’s leadership in addressing global climate change but there needs to be more international inclusion,” said a CIA spokesman.


He called for the need to develop widespread emissions trading schemes and put more effort into R&D for low carbon technology.


The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) said it welcomed the consensus achieved between governments and scientists.


“It has reduced many uncertainties and reinforced messages on which our industry is already taking action on. We are now waiting for a response from governments and the conclusions of the next two reports,” a spokesman said.


US chemicals giant DuPont said it was time for its government to take legislative measures.


"We believe that voluntary measures, while constructive, are not sufficient to address an issue of this magnitude by themselves, said vice president and chief sustainability officer Linda Fisher.


"The challenge is global and requires broad and coordinated action across all sectors of the economy. We think it is time for the federal government to act on climate change legislation.”


By: Mark Watts
+44 20 8652 3214

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