GROCC Joint Statement
Released February 20, 2007
The Path to Climate Sustainability:
A Joint Statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change
Statement Executive Summary
Climate change is an urgent problem requiring global action to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Energy use is vital for a modern economy. Burning fossil fuels produces CO2. Thus, confronting climate change depends, in many ways, on adopting new and sustainable energy strategies that can meet growing global energy needs while allowing for the stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at safe levels.
Energy efficiency must play an important role in these strategies, but long-term success will require a concerted effort to de-carbonize the global energy system. This means significantly increasing the use of non-fossil-fuel energy sources, significantly raising the energy efficiency of fossil-fuel power plants through advanced technologies, and developing and deploying technologies that trap and store the CO2 produced by the fossil fuels that will remain in use.
Cost-efficient technologies exist today, and others could be developed and deployed, to improve energy efficiency and to help reduce emissions of CO2 and other GHGs in major sectors of the global economy. Research indicates that heading off the very dangerous risks associated with doubling pre-industrial atmospheric concentrations of CO2, while an immense challenge, can be achieved at a reasonable cost.
Failing to act now would lead to far higher economic and environmental costs and greater risk of irreversible impacts. To meet this challenge and take advantage of these opportunities:
- The world's governments should set scientifically informed targets, including an ambitious but achievable interim, mid-century target for global CO2 concentrations, for "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system," in accordance with the stated objective of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- All countries should be party to this accord, which should include specific near- and long-term commitments for action in pursuit of the agreed targets. Commitments for actions by individual countries should reflect differences in levels of economic development and GHG emission patterns and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.
- Clear, efficient mechanisms should be established to place a market price on carbon emissions that is reasonably consistent worldwide and across sectors in order to reward efficiency and emission avoidance, encourage innovation, and maintain a level playing field among possible technological options.
- Government policy initiatives should address energy efficiency and de-carbonization in all sectors, allow businesses to choose among a range of options as they strive to minimize GHG emissions and costs, encourage the development and rapid deployment of low-emitting and zero-emitting energy and transportation technologies, and provide incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and harmful land management practices.
- Governments, the private sector, trade unions, and other sectors of civil society should undertake efforts to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, since climate change will occur even in the context of highly effective mitigation efforts.
- Signatories to this statement will support scientific processes including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); work to increase public awareness of climate change risks and solutions; report information on their GHG emissions; engage in GHG emissions mitigation, which can include emissions trading schemes; champion demonstration projects; and support public policy efforts to mitigate climate change and its impacts.