Julian Morris in the FT Climate Experts' Forum
IPN Opinion article
Financial Times (FT Energy Source Blog)
FT: The offers countries made on emissions reduction prior to Copenhagen appear to be insufficient to prevent a 2-degree global temperature rise. Should industrialised nations or developing countries be expected to raise their offers first?
Julian Morris: Neither rich nor poor countries should “raise their offers”. We do not yet know enough about climate processes to say what level of greenhouse gas concentrations would result in a global mean temperature rise of 2-degrees. Nor do we know whether 2 degrees warming would be “dangerous”.
For mild warming, adaptation is almost certainly the most cost-effective option. It is feasible that humanity could adapt at relatively low cost to a warming of 4 degrees (see e.g. the various reports at www.csccc.info). But for that to be possible, it is essential that existing barriers to adaptation be removed; especially restrictions on trade and weak property rights.
Worryingly, the introduction of restrictions on emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as further transfers to the governments of poor countries (including those done in the name of “adaptation”, or through REDD) would likely inhibit adaptation at the individual level.