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.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.