“When you look at the global emissions, with the current pledges which are on the table … we are probably heading towards 3.8 or 4.2 degrees [warming],” said Artur Runge-Metzger, speaking at a roundtable hosted in Brussels by the Institut français des relations internationales on 14 March.
The EU official then asked US and Japanese officials at the roundtable: “Are you making preparations in your countries to tell your industries and households what it means to adapt to a four-degree [change] and have you made estimates of what these costs are that will be born by the public sector and households?”
Japan has refused to commit to a second round of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, while the US has still not ratified the treaty itself.
The Japanese trade official, Jun Arima, said he had “a serious doubt” that current pledges would be enough to limit global warming to two degrees, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s official target.
For the US Mission to the EU, Dale Eppler, the climate attaché, said that he was not aware of any studies on the climate impacts of a four degrees temperature rise for the US population.
“There is a significant amount of opposition to work on climate policy [in the US],” he said. “Parts of Congress have even blocked attempts to set up a climate service.”