Letter: Sinking feeling

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The Independent Online
GEOFFREY LEAN's article on the disappearance of two islands due to global warming ("They're going under", 13 June) is another wake-up call for the industrialised world.

Our use of fossil fuels produces the greenhouse gases that are causing global temperature and sea levels to rise. There are many pollution-free and renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. They must be phased in rapidly if we are to avoid crisis levels of damage and death. Oil, gas and coal could be completely replaced within a generation if we made a concerted effort to invest in solar hydrogen, energy efficiency and conservation.

For this to happen industry needs governments to agree a global and legally binding framework under which the future use of fossil fuels is cut year on year. The Global Commons Institute has put forward such a plan which already has wide acceptance. A global contraction budget of future greenhouse gas emissions must be agreed to stabilise the rising concentrations of these gases in the global atmosphere. This budget must be shared between countries on the basis of convergence to equal per capita emissions rights by an agreed date such as 2030.

To prevent more islands (and coastal Britain) from disappearing, this government must make a serious effort to rally international support for this plan, starting with the G8.

TITUS ALEXANDER

AUBREY MEYER

Global Commons Institute

London E17

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