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Climate Change

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what methodology his Department used to (a) establish that adopting its proposals to the UN framework convention on climate change would restrict temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius and (b) calculate that expenditure of US$100 billion per annum was required to tackle climate change globally. (291397)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: We have used the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report as a primary reference for relating global emissions to our 2°C goal. We have also extensively used the Stern Review. In addition the Government are funding a major research programme on the science of climate change called the AVOID programme. AVOID is a DECC/DEFRA funded research programme led by the Met Office in a consortium with the Walker Institute, Tyndall Centre and Grantham Institute. For further information see:

http://www.avoid.uk.net

We have drawn on analysis in various independent reports to calculate the scale of finance needed to tackle climate change in developing countries. The most recent, by Project Catalyst (a philanthropically funded project to develop analysis for the UNFCCC), put the total at €65-100 billion per year on average from 2010-2020 (€55-80 billion mitigation; €10-20 billion adaptation). The figure that the Prime Minister announced in a speech on 26 June 2009 of around $100 billion by 2020 is within this range. However, we also recognised that we must distinguish between research studies and the actual finance that countries might need for their low carbon and climate resilient growth and development. Therefore, we have proposed $100 billion a year by 2020 as a working figure for the world to focus on.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of changes to average global temperature since 2000. (292447)

Observations collated at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the university of East Anglia Climate Research Unit indicate that global average near-surface temperatures during each of the years 2000 to 2008 inclusive, relative to the late 20th century (1961 to 1990) average of 14.00°C, were: +0.24, +0.40, +0.45, +0.46, +0.43, +0.48, +0.42, +0.40, and +0.31°C. Thus, the average for this period was 0.40°C warmer than that in the late 20th century.

Eight of the 10 warmest years on record all occurred between 2000 and 2008. It should be noted that short timescale (year-to-year to decadal) natural fluctuations in temperature are superimposed upon the long-term underlying warming trend.