ABC News Online, Sat Aug 1, 2009
Mr Macintosh has warned emissions targets will have to be toughened to contain temperature change to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. (User submitted via ABC Contribute: JodieV, file photo)
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Australian National University (ANU) research shows current international carbon emissions targets will not rein in climate change at the levels that countries are predicting.
Canberra-based researcher Andrew Macintosh completed modelling for temperature changes based on emissions targets going into the Copenhagen negotiations.
Most countries have focused on cuts to carbon emissions of between 10 and 20 per cent by 2020, ahead of an 80 per cent target for 2050.
However Mr Macintosh has warned emissions targets will have to be toughened to contain temperature change to two degrees above pre-industrial levels.
"I would like to see a more honest debate in the public," he said.
"I don't think it's helping anyone for leaders, governments and NGOs to come out and try to run that line that we can have low to moderate targets while keeping within that 2 degrees limit."
He says the predicted temperature levels cannot be achieved unless tough decisions are made.
"It's very unlikely at this stage that we'll be able to keep to two degrees above pre-industrial levels without a pretty significant change in the current negotiating position of developed countries," he said.
Mr Macintosh will release his modelling work on the proposed targets at a conference on Monday.