Special Viewpoints

The Challenge of Long-Term Climate Change

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Science  12 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5652, pp. 1923-1925
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090858

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Climate policy needs to address the multidecadal to centennial time scale of climate change. Although the realization of short-term targets is an important first step, to be effective climate policies need to be conceived as long-term programs that will achieve a gradual transition to an essentially emission-free economy on the time scale of a century. This requires a considerably broader spectrum of policy measures than the primarily market-based instruments invoked for shorter term mitigation policies. A successful climate policy must consist of a dual approach focusing on both short-term targets and long-term goals.

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