World delegates are in Durban, South Africa, to examine the potential for an agreement that would keep climate change in check. Chris Huhne, British secretary of state for energy and climate change, said a pilot study concludes overall warming trends would destabilize weather patterns and put millions of people at risk.
All countries studied in the report showed general warming trends if the world community does nothing to keep climate change in check. Nearly 49 million people in low-lying countries could be at risk from coastal flooding while yields for staple crops in other parts of the world decline.
London, said Huhne, wants a legally binding agreement to keep expected increases in global temperatures in check.
"Life for millions of people could change forever, with water and food supplies being placed in jeopardy and homes and livelihoods under threat," he said in a statement. "This makes the challenge of reducing emissions ever more urgent."
The project was commissioned by Huhne and coordinated by a series of British universities and research centers, including the University of Leeds and the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.