L'AQUILA, Italy, July 6 /PRNewswire/ --

- Action by Scientists Underscores Urgency of National Progress and Global

A group of the world's top climate scientists today called on the leaders of the
world's major economies to adopt strong measures to address climate change,
including a peak in global emissions before 2020.

In a letter addressed to Ministers and Heads of State attending this week's G8
summit and Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Italy, the climate
scientists, including several senior government climate science advisors, make
specific requests for policy action and warn that failure to reduce emissions
presents unacceptable risks.

The scientists are calling for action from world leaders whose nations represent
around 70% of global carbon abatement potential. Among other specific requests,
the scientists underscore the importance of committing to a global emissions
peak by 2020 and beginning significant reductions in harmful greenhouse gases
well before 2020.

This is a very important moment in the run up to the climate negotiations in
Copenhagen in December, aimed at achieving a global agreement, said Michael
Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton
University, one of the signatories of an open letter to Major Economy leaders
published today. Scientists worldwide are calling on the leaders of the major
economies to send a signal to rest of the world that those countries with the
highest emissions, those that are also in the best position to make the greatest
contributions to reducing the risk, are ready to combat the threat posed by
climate change. These countries should make clear that they are prepared to
seize the opportunity to promote low-carbon economic growth and prosperity at
home and abroad.

The letter makes five specific requests of major economy leaders:

1. Recognise that present global warming of 0.8 degrees C above pre-industrial
levels is already having a significant impact, and that warming exceeding 2
degrees C predicted for later this century would create great risks and have
irreversible consequences

2. Commit to peak global greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2020 and
reduce them by at least 50% relative to 1990 levels by 2050

3. For developed countries, commit to emissions reductions of at least 80%
relative to 1990 by 2050 with appropriate intermediate targets set in time for

4. For developing countries, commit by Copenhagen to significant gains in energy
efficiency, reductions in carbon intensity, and cuts in non-CO2 greenhouse gas
emissions over the next two decades; this should be designed to support
sustainable development and to lead to substantial reduction from
business-as-usual emissions

5. Recognise that the impact of existing changes in climate are primarily due to
past emissions by developed nations, and that unless the burden of poverty in
developing nations is alleviated by significant financial support for
mitigation, adaptation, and the reduction of deforestation, the ability of
developing countries to pursue sustainable development is likely to diminish, to
the economic and environmental detriment of all

According to the signatories, the outcome of the Major Economies Forum meeting
on July 9 should be judged on these five points.

SOURCE: ClimateWorks

A copy of the letter and corresponding background information is available,
please contact: Ben Evetts, Weber Shandwick for the European Climate Foundation,
E-mail: bevetts@webershandwick.com, Telephone: +44-207-067-2749 or Tom Brookes,
European Climate Foundation, E-mail: tom.brookes@europeanclimate.org, Telephone: