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26 Aug 2009: Pachauri Supports Goal
Limiting Atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm

Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says he supports the goal of cutting atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million, a highly ambitious target supported by many environmental activists. Speaking with Agence France Presse, Pachauri said that he cannot officially endorse the 350 target. “But as a human being I am fully supportive of that goal,” said Pachauri. “What is happening, and what is likely to happen, convinces me that the world must be really ambitious and very determined at moving toward a 350 target.” Current atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are close to 390 ppm, and if emissions are not brought under control, scientists say, levels could exceed 500 ppm this century, nearly twice as high as pre-industrial levels. Leading environmental activists, such as Bill McKibben, say that reducing CO2 levels to 350 ppm is the best way to avoid highly disruptive effects of global warming. Key climate talks will be held this December in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, 300 environmental groups and other organizations — including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth — have written a letter to U.S. Senate leaders urging them to strengthen a climate bill that has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is now before the Senate.


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