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Tsunami horror hits Britain

Skywatch Special Report: Global Warming & Climate Change


Catastrophe Hits Britain: This is the sort of headline we will all be reading in reality if nothing is done to prevent climate change. Yesterday 20,000 people marched in London to express their concern. Tomorrow world leaders meet in Nairobi to set new targets for cutting pollution. Here, environment editor Geoffrey Lean examines why they must go further than ever before. And we print the stories you'll hope never to read again


Published: 05 November 2006
International attempts to cut the pollution that causes global warming have gone into reverse just as evidence mounts that it is putting the planet in grave danger, a startling official report will reveal.
The findings by the United Nations - which will be presented to the world's governments tomorrow at the start of crucial negotiations about whether to tackle climate change seriously - show that after reducing emissions during the 1990s, the world's richest countries have in fact increased them since the start of the Millennium.
The alarming revelation adds impetus to the conclusion of last week's Stern report that "strong and urgent collective action" is needed if worldwide disaster is to be avoided. The 600-page report by Sir Nicholas Stern, head of the Government Economic Service and a former chief economist of the World Bank, predicted that without substantial and rapid cuts in pollution, global warming will "take humans into unknown territory" and "transform the physical geography of the world".
Our planet could eventually be visited by catastrophes such as widespread drought, the failure of the monsoon rains, the fiery death of the Amazon rainforest, the extinction of polar bears as the Arctic ice cap melts, and the flooding of many cities, including London. But tomorrow yet another report, this one by the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Government's favourite think-tank, will conclude that Sir Nicholas has not gone nearly far enough and that an even greater "Herculean" effort will be needed if we are "to have a high chance of avoiding dangerous climate change".
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