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Climate protection strategies for the 21st Century: Kyoto and beyond

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This report recommends a policy strategy for causing contraction and convergence of greenhouse gas emissions by developing and industrialised countries. It also considers the relationship of such a policy to the Kyoto Protocol. The report concentrates on the potentials to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide, looking at both industry-related emissions and the relevance of biological sinks. It focuses on three questions:what is dangerous climate change within the meaning of Article 2 of the UNFCCC?which socio-economically and technologically viable pathways are available to prevent such dangerous climate change?how can all countries be integrated equitably within a system of emissions reduction commitments?Dangerous climate change can now only be prevented if climate protection targets are set at substantially higher levels than those agreed internationally until now. In particular, anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions must be cut globally by 45-60% by the year 2050 relative to 1990. This means that industrialized countries have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Industrialized countries have committed to reducing emissions by 5% by 2012 relative to 1990Developing countries need to gradually take up emissions reduction commitments, but this must be shaped in such a way that these countries can exercise their right to development. For an interim period, growth in their emissions must be permitted. At the same time, the industrialized countries must continue to reduce their share in global carbon dioxide emissions. This process, continuous for both sides, should lead to equal per-capita emissions by the year 2050. The Kyoto process needs to continue, but policy thinking needs to be extended beyond its 2012 time frame. It needs to be supplemented with further policy agreements:a separate protocol for natural carbon stocks needs to be negotiated. There is an urgent need to contain deforestation and the associated emissions, but the accounting procedure for biological sources and sinks of greenhouse gases agreed in the Kyoto Protocol is not suited to provide incentives to preserve the key ecosystems of relevance to climate protectiona Climate Central Bank should be established to smooth extreme price swings on the market for emission rights and to allay uncertainties. Reliable emissions reporting by countries is key to targeted climate change mitigation and functioning emissions trading. Only countries whose greenhouse gas inventories meet high quality standards should be allowed to sell emission rightsclimate protection policy needs to dovetail consistently with global structural and development policy. Convergence of living conditions between industrialized and developing countries is an important precondition to successful global climate change mitigation policy. This requires intensifying technology transfer and opening markets to products from developing countries. This development process will reduce the costs of climate change mitigation over the long term and will contribute to slowing population growth