al-goreA day after being lambasted by Jim Hansen for compromising over climate change, veteran climate change campaigner Al Gore has also criticised the current CO2 targets as being way too soft.

Gore has said that anything agreed at Copenhagen can only be the first step towards much tougher CO2 targets.

“Even a final treaty will have to set the stage for other tougher reductions at a later date,” he told the Times newspaper. “We have already overshot the safe levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Gore argues that the present goal set for Copenhagen for stabilising CO2 at or below 450 ppm — enough to prevent a rise in average global temperatures of no more than 2C — was insufficient.

A much safer target would be 350 parts per million.

Gore said: “Are we doing enough? The answer is obviously no — 450 is not the right target. But it is presently seen as beyond the capacity of governments around the world. We are stretching the capacity of governments even to hit a 450 target.”

“We are gambling with the future of human civilisation in accepting odds that by any definition make our present course reckless . . . But it’s still the most likely path to success.”

Gore also took issue with Obama saying that American targets were “weaker than it should be”.

Gore also dismissed the climate sceptics who have seized on climate gate, arguing that the scientific consensus around climate change “continues to grow from strength to strength”.

He added: “The naysayers are in a sunset phase with a spectacular climax just before they subside from view. This is a race between common sense and unreality.”

So the common sense solution will be a radical legally-binding agreement that puts the world on a sustainable path towards 350 ppm.