World 'needs Plan B' on climate change
The world needs a Plan B on climate change as politicians are failing to reduce carbon emissions, according to a UN report. It warns governments if they overshoot their short-term carbon targets they will have to cut CO2 faster in the second half of the century to keep climate change manageable. If they fail again, they will have to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere.
This could be achieved by burning wood and capturing the CO2 emissions. The gas could then be stored in rocks underground. But a leaked draft of the UN report also says that the technology for carbon dioxide removal is untested at such a scale.
The authors warn that carbon removal systems may encounter resistance from the public - and if the policy goes wrong, it could damage forests and ecosystems.
The final draft report to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adopts a new tone of realism in the face of repeated failures by governments to meet their rhetoric on climate change with action.
It warns that governments are set to crash through the global CO2 safety threshold by 2030. Humans have tripled CO2 emissions since 1970, it says - and emissions have been accelerating rather than slowing.