The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

IPCC Chief Challenges Obama to Further Cut US Emission Targets


The head of the world's preeminent organization of
climate scientists said yesterday that incoming U.S. President Barack
Obama's stated emissions targets need to be strengthened to deal with
the climate threat.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, said, "President-elect Obama's goal of reducing
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 falls short of the response needed by
world leaders to meet the challenge of reducing emissions to levels
that will actually spare us the worst effects of climate change."

The comments were made at an event held by the Worldwatch Institute
yesterday afternoon in Washington to discuss its recently-released
report, State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World,
which finds the world will have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions more
drastically than has been widely predicted, even going into negative
emissions by 2050 to avoid catastrophic disruption to the world's

"The world is desperately looking for U.S. leadership to slow
emissions and create a green economy," said Christopher Flavin,
President of the Worldwatch Institute. "With the Copenhagen climate
conference rapidly approaching, this will be a crucial early test for
President Obama."

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The Worldwatch Institute was a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C., founded by Lester R. Brown. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts. Brown left to found the Earth Policy Institute in 2000. The Institute was wound up in 2017, after publication of its last State of the World Report. was unreachable from mid-2019.