International Climate Scientists Issue Stark Global Warning: Urgent Action needed to prevent climate catastrophe

PARIS (FRANCE) FEBRUARY 2, 2007 -- Friends of the Earth International today called on world leaders to take urgent action to cut emissions of greenhouse gases after the planet’s leading scientific experts, endorsed by the world's governments, delivered the starkest warning yet on the threat of global climate change.

February 2, 2007

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published its long anticipated Fourth Assessment Report in Paris today (Friday 2nd January) providing the most credible and convincing evidence so far of the human link to climate change and its devastating impacts. [1]

The report, which has taken six years to compile draws on research by 2,500 scientists from over 130 countries, should shock the world into taking urgent action to reduce global emissions. The report itself has been endorsed by world’s governments.

Friends of the Earth International’s Climate Campaigner, Catherine Pearce, said:

“This report shows with unquestionable certainty that human activity is responsible for the last 50 years of global warming, and that the impacts of climate change have already begun.

"The alarm bells are ringing. The world must wake up to the threat posed by climate change. There is still time to act, but urgent action is required. World governments have signed up to and accept these findings, making the reason for action all the more compelling. The industrialised world, including the USA, must lead the way by making significant cuts in their emissions, helping less developed countries develop sustainable, low-carbon economies, and agreeing a more effective and stronger second round to the Kyoto agreement on climate change from 2013.”

The release of today’s report follows a four day meeting in which governments scrutinized the 14 page summary word by word. During the painstaking process to agree the final report, some governments attempted to tone down the text, while others said it did not go far enough. The co-Chairs of Working Group I worked extremely hard to complete the process in time and to ensure a strong, robust summary.


Background to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

Recognising the problem of potential global climate change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the IPCC in 1988. It is open to all members of the UN and WMO.

The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature.

The First IPCC Assessment Report was completed in 1990. The Report played an important role in establishing the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by the UN General Assembly. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It provides the overall policy framework for addressing the climate change issue.

The IPCC has continued to provide scientific, technical and socio-economic advice to the world community, and in particular to the Parties to the UNFCCC through its periodic assessment reports and special reports. Its Second Assessment Report, Climate Change 1995, provided key input to the negotiations, which led to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997.

The Third Assessment Report (TAR), Climate Change 2001, was completed in 2001. It was submitted to the 7th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and Parties agreed that it should be used routinely as a useful reference for providing information for deliberations on agenda items of the Conference of the Parties.


Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth's International Climate Campaigner: mobile: +44 (0)7811 283641

Caroline Prak, Friends of the Earth France Press officer +33 6 86415343

Anne Bringault, Friends of the Earth France director + 33 6 07344067


[1] The IPCC is online at