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consistent with a safe climate. At the same time,society continues to lock into high-carboninfrastructure that has a long lifespan. There is morescientific work to do, and many uncertainties are likelyto remain, but the evidence is already clear that therisks are large and that delay will be dangerous. Some of the building blocks for a sensible politicalagreement are being put in place for the next meetingof the parties to the United Nations FrameworkConvention on Climate Change in Cancún at the end of this year. Sound analysis, visionary leadership,and a collaborative spirit can quickly reduce theimmense risks we are facing. Furthermore, they could chart the way to three or four decades ofinnovations and entrepreneurial creativity, laying thefoundations for a more sustainable, creative, andequitable world. nABOUT THE AUTHORSLord Stern of Brentford, Kt, FBA is IG Patel Professorof Economics and Government at the London Schoolof Economics (LSE), where he is also head of theIndia Observatory within LSE's Asia Research Centre,and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute onClimate Change and the Environment. Previously,having held academic posts at the Universities ofOxford and Warwick and the LSE, he was ChiefEconomist for the European Bank for Reconstructionand Development and subsequently Chief Economistand Senior VP at the World Bank. In 2005, he wasappointed by the UK government to conduct theinfluential Stern Review, which analysed theeconomics of climate change. He has published more than 15 books and 100articles. "A Blueprint for a Safer Planet" waspublished by Random House in April 2009. He wasknighted for services to economics in 2004 and madea cross-bench life peer as Baron Stern of Brentford in 2007.Dimitri Zenghelis is Senior Economic Advisor toCisco's Long Term Innovation Group. Previously, heheaded the Stern Review Team at the Office ofClimate Change, London, and was a senior economistworking with Lord Stern on the Stern Review on theEconomics of Climate Change, commissioned by thethen Chancellor Gordon Brown. He continues to act as an advisor to the UKGovernment and Lord Stern at the LSE where he is aSenior Visiting Fellow at the Grantham ResearchInstitute. He is an Associate Fellow at the RoyalInstitute of International Affairs (Chatham House).Dimitri was Head of Economic Forecasting and Headof Macroeconomic Analysis and Projects at HMTreasury from 1999 to 2007.GLOBAL VOICES025""WE HAVE LOSTCRITICAL DECADESIN WHICH WECOULD HAVETAKEN SERIOUSACTION BUT DIDNOT, BECAUSE OFA LACK OF PUBLICCONSENSUSThese actions are welcome, but there is stillinsufficient recognition of the magnitude of thechallenge and the risks of delay. The world must emitan average of less than two metric tonnes per capita ofcarbon-dioxide-equivalent by 2050 if it is to have areasonable chance of limiting temperature increases to2ºC. The current average is about seven tonnes percapita, with the United States averaging more thantwenty metric tonnes, Europe ten to twelve metrictonnes, China around seven metric tonnes, India lessthan two metric tonnes. Yet such change is possible.Backed by popular support and strong leadership, thetransition could drive innovation and creativity,generating technological innovation and substantiallyimproved well-being. We have lost critical decades in which we could havetaken serious action but did not, because of a lack ofpublic consensus. The stock of greenhouse gases isrising at an increasing rate. For every year in whichaction is not taken, more work will be required toreduce greenhouse-gas concentrations to a level

" "THE EUROPEANUNION WOULD BE READY TOREACH A LEGALLY BINDING DEAL IN CANCÚN, BUT IT IS EVIDENT THAT SOME OTHERKEY PLAYERS ARE NOTetting a global climate agreement that isstrong, comprehensive and legallybinding remains a top priority for theEuropean Union. It is clear that the globalchallenge of climate change can be tackled effectivelyonly through firm action by all the world's majoreconomies. Shifting from our carbon-intensive growth model to alow-carbon future is not only a vast challenge but alsoa huge opportunity to reinvigorate our economies andaccelerate our exit from the crisis. Innovation in low-carbon technologies such as energy efficiency,renewable energy and carbon capture and storagepromises to generate new sources of economic growthand jobs and strengthen our energy security. As European Commissioner for Climate Action, Iintend to ensure the European Union stays in thevanguard of this revolution through proactive climateand energy policies. Europe has committed unilaterally to cut ouremissions to 20 per cent below their 1990 level by2020, and we have passed legislation to achieve thisgoal. We are offering to increase our reduction to 30per cent over the same timescale if other majoreconomies commit to take on their fair share of thenecessary emissions effort. And for the long term wehave set ourselves the goal of cutting our emissions,together with other industrialised countries, to 80-95per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.The Copenhagen conference last year did not take theworld as far towards a global climate deal as many ofus had hoped. The political will was not there. TheCopenhagen Accord nevertheless represents progressand provides a sound basis to build on. Firstly, industrialised and developing countries alikeaccepted for the first time that they share jointresponsibility for keeping global warming below 2° C toavert the worst impacts of climate change. Some 140 countries, responsible for more than 80 percent of global emissions, have associated themselveswith the Accord, and over 75 have notified targets oractions to limit or reduce their emissions. The pledgesso far fall well short of what is needed to stay below2°C, but they are a start. Secondly, the industrialised world has putconsiderable funding on the table to help developingcountries combat climate change: nearly US$30billion in "fast-start" finance for 2010-2012 andUS$100 billion a year by 2020. Thirdly, in several areas the Copenhagen Accordprovides important political guidance for thecontinuing negotiations on a global agreement.The European Union would be ready to reach a legallybinding deal in Cancún, but it is evident that someother key players are not. Many of the problems wefaced in Copenhagen remain with us today. But thatdoes not mean we should not be ambitious. There ismuch that Cancún can and must deliver.The challenge for Cancún is to deliver an ambitiouspackage of decisions that responds to this need -apackage that both captures the progress achieved sofar and lays a solid basis for completing a global dealas soon as possible. It needs to be a balanced packagethat covers both tracks of the negotiations. It shouldalso lead to immediate action on a number of issues. Our developing country partners are clearly focusing onRight: Connie Hedegaardaims to see Europebecome the mostclimate-friendly region in the worldCANCÚN MUST TAKE US ABIG STEP CLOSER TO AGLOBAL CLIMATE DEAL026GLOBAL VOICESCONNIE HEDEGAARD, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR CLIMATE ACTIONG