A key criteria for a global climate change deal in Copenhagen in 2009 is that it should be sufficient, meaning that it must address the need for global emissions to peak and decline quickly. Time is a critical factor in the science of climate change. Delaying action increases risk.
And yet reaching a global deal has proved to be a complex and time consuming issue. Global emissions are currently increasing at approximately 2.5% per annum – last year adding an additional 27 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere 20% of which will still be present in the atmosphere around 1,000 years later.
The sooner the growth curve in emissions peaks and declines the better, both in scientific terms and in terms of communicating that progress is possible and the problem resolvable.