The IPCC releases its Synthesis Report calling for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The world must face up to the challenge set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to act urgently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or deal with serious consequences, UK Environment Minister Phil Woolas said today.

Woolas said the IPCC had produced the most comprehensive and authoritative work to date on the state of global climate change, and its message to governments around the world was stark.

The IPCC, which was last month awarded the Nobel Prize for increasing global knowledge about man-made climate change and laying the foundations to fight it, today released its Synthesis Report, the final part of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Climate Change 2007.

The report states that urgent action must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or climate change will intensify and have a dramatic effect on the natural world and human society.

Woolas said: “No government can ignore the IPCC’s work on the risks of climate change. It’s a clear call to action that when we meet in Bali next month, we must launch formal negotiations on an international climate agreement that will include every major country on earth.

“The agreement this week in the United States by the Midwest Governors’ Association to cut emissions and introduce carbon trading has also given a tremendous boost going into the Bali talks.

“We must not squander the political will and momentum that the IPCC’s work has generated this year. Instead, we must take this chance to start serious work on a new UN climate framework that can be agreed by the end of 2009.”

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attended the unveiling of the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in Valencia, Spain. The document is a key text that will be available to governments as they head for Bali to negotiate the development of a future regime to curb climate change beyond 2012.