A new report says treaties aimed at reducing CO2 emissions are useless.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers report says we have to accept the world could change dramatically.
It also says we should start planning our major infrastructure now to accommodate more extreme weather events and sea level rises.
While not against attempts to reduce emissions, the report’s authors say we should be realistic about what can be achieved with this approach.
International diplomats and environment campaigners have, for years, been pursuing an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
In its present incarnation it is called the Kyoto Protocol.
The existing Kyoto Protocol has, to date, been a near total failureInstitution of Mechanical Engineers report
This treaty runs out in 2012, and negotiations are carrying on at the moment to replace it – negotiations which will culminate in a meeting in Copenhagen later this year.
The authors of the report are not optimistic about the outcome:
“The new agreement’s most basic premise will be to try and limit the negative man-made effects on our climate system for future generations.
“In other words, the agreement will aim to reduce global CO2 emissions by mitigation.
“However, the existing Kyoto Protocol has, to date, been a near total failure, with emissions levels continuing to rise substantially.”
While the report’s authors point out that the Institution, like many scientific bodies, has a strong belief that we need “to reduce CO2 to secure long-term human survival”, they also say that we should be realistic about what we can achieve.
And “even with vigorous mitigation effort, we will continue to use fossil fuel reserves until they are exhausted.”