Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions The Role of Greenhouse Gas Offsets

Alexia Kelly

The science is in. Global warming is real, it is happening now, and humans are the primary drivers behind it. It has been a decade since the IPCC, the largest assemblage of scientists ever to address a single issue, first concluded that the Earth's climate is changing, and that there is a 'human fingerprint' on this change. Each year since, scientific evidence about human impacts on the climate has become more convincing and more concerning. In 2001, the National Research Council, in response to a request by President Bush to review the IPCC work, reaffirmed its conclusions. By 2001, national academies of science from 19 countries totaling over one-half of the world's population and greenhouse gas emissions issued a statement that 'the balance of scientific evidence demands effective steps now to avoid damaging changes to the Earth's climate'.

In 2005, and again in 2006, the majority of these academies issued a much more forceful statement, citing 'strong evidence' that human activity is already changing the climate, and stating that without prompt action now, 'long term global efforts to create a more healthy, prosperous, and sustainable world may be severely hindered by changes in the climate'. Significant, near-term action is needed to slow the pace of global warming and stabilize the climate at safe and sustainable concentrations of greenhouse gases.

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