Rajendra Pachauri: `We really need action on climate change now`

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Courtesy of European Parliament

Our planet could heat up by 4.8 degrees and sea levels rise by up to 82 centimetres by 2100, warns the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest assessment report released on Sunday. IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its work. We interviewed IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri when he took part in a conference organised by the Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment body in Brussels on 4 November.

How can the European Parliament support the progress of the new climate pact that will be prepared during the climate conference in Lima in December and then in Paris next year?

I hope that the European Parliament and other EU parties can look at the report's scientific findings and bring them to the attention of decision makers.

Emerging nations and developed countries disagree on how the responsibility for curbing emissions should be shared. Is there a solution?

This is precisely the reason why negotiations have been going on for so long. I think all of us must realise that we are residents of planet earth and that the impact of climate change will not be lost on us.

The EU is an organisation with a lot of influence. The best thing to do is to set an example for the rest of the world. If many of these solutions were implemented and shown to be feasible and not disruptive to the economy, it would send out a very powerful message.

What do you say to those who do not believe human activity influences climate change?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the weight of scientific opinion is now overwhelming. We have said really clearly that most of the warming that has taken place since the middle of the last century is extremely likely to be caused by human action. When we say extremely likely, we are assigning a probability of over 95 per cent.

I think that should really convince people of the scientific reality of climate change and what is causing it. I hope people will accept that and move on. We really need action now.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) will take place in Lima, Peru, on 1-12 December. The EP's environment committee votes on a draft motion for a resolution on the 2014 UN Climate Change Conference from 15.00 CET on 5 December. Follow the vote live here.

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