22 May '12, 2pm

G8 summit might have actually done something about climate change

There’s a bit of news from the G8 summit that might have escaped notice: International leaders agreed to take collective action to decrease greenhouse-gas emissions. And pigs do fly. The agreement (which, unlike flying pigs, is real — we promise) could be “the biggest step in years in tackling climate change,” as The Telegraph’ s Geoffrey Lean says . The catch is that it has nothing to do with carbon dioxide. Instead, it focuses on “short-lived climate pollutants” — all those other pesky carbon-based greenhouse gases, like methane, soot, and ozone. Decreasing the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere could buy the world some time — three decades or so — to deal with the gobs of carbon dioxide we’re pumping out. Because these other pollutants hang out in the atmosphere for shorter periods of time, it’s easier to decrease their concentrations. Those concentrations m...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/g8-summit-might-have-actually-done-...

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