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U.N. Panel Warns on Climate Change in Report

The U.N. panel on climate change has issued a new report outlining troubling scenarios if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced. The report will be the basis for U.N. climate talks in December. Michael Oppenheimer, a member of the panel, details the report.

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    And finally tonight, the new U.N. report on climate change, and to Jeffrey Brown.


    In Africa, between 75 and 250 million people could be competing for scarcer water supplies by 2020. In Asia, within several decades, heavily populated coastal areas will be at higher risk of flooding. And in North America, there could be less snow pack out west and longer, more intense heat waves in our cities.

    Those were some of the scenarios outlined by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a report issued this weekend. It was the fourth and final assessment of the group, made up of more than 2,500 scientists, that shared the Nobel Peace Prize last month, along with former Vice President Al Gore.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the scientists had finished their work and now it was time for political leaders to act.

  • BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General:

    Let us not point fingers or apportion blame. Rather, let us find common ground. Let us recognize that the effects of climate change affect us all.


    Today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was one of the first Western leaders to respond.

    GORDON BROWN, Prime Minister of Britain: Our vision has one overriding aim: holding the rise in global temperatures to no more than two degrees centigrade. This requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak within the next 10 to 15 years and to be cut at least by half by 2050. And it requires us to build a low carbon economy globally.


    World leaders will begin talks on a new international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when they meet in Bali next month.