2 Key Takeaways From the Paris Climate Talks

Posted by on December 15, 2015 in Climate Change, Environment with 2 Comments


Source: Eco Watch

1. We’ve turned a corner on the central environmental challenge of our time

For the first time in history, the world is united to cut the carbon pollution that’s drivingclimate change by moving beyond the dirty fossil fuels of the past to the cleaner, smarter energy options that can power our future without imperiling the planet.

To do that, 195 countries—rich and poor, large and small and at every stage of development—have pledged to cut, cap or mitigate their carbon footprint.

This sends a clear message to the world: we’re not stuck with fossil fuels that do more harm than good.

It sends a clear message to markets: we’re moving to a low-carbon global economy where the future belongs to those who invest in ways to make our homes, cars and workplaces more efficient and to get more clean power from renewable sources like the wind and sun.

And it sends a clear message to our children: we won’t abandon you to pay the price for reckless habits that bring havoc and ruin to our world and our lives.

Related Article: Historic Climate Deal Reached at COP21, But Campaigners say the Work is Just Beginning

2. This agreement is ambitious

As a whole, we’ve pledged to hold down global warming to well below 2 degrees Centigrade, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels; and to work toward holding the increase to 1.5 degrees Centigrade, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

To date, average global temperatures have risen by about 1 degree Centigrade, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels, with most of the warming coming in the past 50 years.

The science tells us we must hold total warming below 2 degrees Centigrade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Even at that level, though, coastal communities and island nations would be at risk of swallowed by rising seas. That’s why it’s important we hold the line at 1.5 degrees Centigrade.

The pledges made to date won’t get us where we need to go: at best, they’ll take us roughly halfway to the 2-degree limit.

The agreement, though, calls on nations to assess progress every two years and come back together five years from now to build on those gains by ratcheting up their ambitions and setting more assertive goals going forward.

That’s a formula for the continuous improvement we’ll need to get the job done.

3. This agreement is comprehensive

It calls for real action by nearly every country in the world that account for roughly 95 percent of the dangerous carbon pollution that’s driving climate chaos.

It provides for a climate investment fund of public and private money totaling at least $100 billion a year, starting in 2020, to help low-income countries protect themselves from the threats already backed into global climate change and to invest in the clean-energy options that can help them to fight climate change while improving the lives of their people.

Last year the U.S. provided some $430 million in public funding specifically to assist developing countries in this way, and Sec. Kerry pledged in Paris that we’ll double that amount to at least $860 million by 2020.

Overall—public and private, grants and loans—U.S. investment in climate change mitigation and clean energy already tops $2.5 billion a year worldwide.

Related Article: Amazonian Tribespeople Participate in Paris Climate Talks To Try To Stop Big Oil From Destroying Their Ancestral Land (Beautiful Video)

4. This agreement has teeth

For the first time, countries must take inventory of their major sources of carbon pollution and share that information with the rest of the world. When we know where the pollution is coming from, we’ll know how to go after it.

Countries must monitor carbon emissions, using standard measuring practices subject to expert international review, and report regularly on the progress they’re making in reducing those emissions. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t will help speed the innovation and enterprise needed to reach the goals.

And sharing experiences and lessons learned will help all countries make progress and speed the shift to a low-carbon global economy worldwide.

5. This agreement supports the global transition to a low-carbon economy

The coal, gas and oil that is driving global climate change accounts for roughly 80 percent of world energy use.That, though, is changing, as private corporations, national governments, mayors, governors and others work to recast the global economy around cleaner, smarter energy options.

An estimated $50 trillion will be invested in the global energy system over the next two decades, and much of that will go toward clean, renewable power like wind and solar and to systems to help distribute and store the electricity they produce.

In the U.S., General Motors, Apple computers, Google, Walmart and 150 other nameplate American corporations have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint, invest in clean energy and otherwise work toward sustainable practices in a private effort to fight climate change.

The Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup has pledged to invest a total of $325 billion—at least—in clean energy technology over the coming decade.

The U.S., France and 17 other countries that together account for 80 percent of global research and development in clean energy technologies have promised to double that investment over the next five years.

And Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and 25 other billionaire investors are creating a private-public initiative to help bring clean energy ideas to market.

Related Article: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Upcoming Paris Climate Talks

6. Every country will do its part, through plans tailored to each nation’s circumstances

This is the basis of all international relations.

Where we can gather around common values and goals, we form partnerships that seek to advance the agenda we share. Then we look at the best way each of us can contribute, based on where each country is in its development arc and the resources each brings to the table.

We agree on the principles and then map out a way forward that recognizes where each nation is in its development arc and its capacity to help.

That’s what we do with every international partnership we’ve ever developed.

That’s what we do with our military alliances, in Europe, Asia and around the world.

It’s how we’ve structured our trade agreements.

It’s how peace talks get done and global summits are held.

And that’s what we’ve done in Paris.

We’ve said, as a world, we have a problem. It’s a problem for all of us. We know the solution. And it’s a solution we can all help advance.

In the U.S., we’ve promised to do our part.

So have the Chinese. So has India. So have more than 180 other countries around the world.

These promises have meaning, because, in the connected world we live in, credibility matters.

And the way you build credibility on the world stage, the way countries build trust, is by following through with our commitments—doing what we say we’ll do.

These are promises each country has made. We’ll know who keeps their promises and, if there are countries that don’t, we’ll know that too, and we’ll know why.


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2 Reader Comments

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  1. 10205534981830021@facebook.com' Ray Clause says:

    Everything is made in China. If they don’t comply it is worthless

  2. 955457964525088@facebook.com' Robyn Peace says:

    is facebook blocking this with popups for you?

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