China and India: Doing the Unimaginable to Address Climate Change

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China and India: Doing the Unimaginable to Address Climate Change

In the four months since the United Nation’s COP21 meetings in Paris, China and India have taken huge strides in their quest to reduce carbon, improve air quality, and shift to a sustainable economy.
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Green Builder Media CEO, Sara Gutterman

Green Builder Media

Friday, May 6, 2016 - 6:30am

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

Climate action has never been so en vogue. Last Friday, 175 nations signed the Paris accord, using Earth Day as the celebratory milieu to take a vital next step in the hard-fought, decades-long battle to reduce global emissions. 

Friday’s signing is a clear declaration that we have reached the end of age of fossil fuels. In his address to the assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, U.N. secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asserted that, "We are in a race against time.  The era of consumption without consequences is over."

Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly), the U.S. election cycle has been the main driver creating a sense of urgency for world leaders to ratify the agreement this year—there is a latent fear that, in the unlikely event that Trump gets elected, the U.S. will abandon our stated commitments (Trump has, indeed, articulated his intention to walk away from climate pledges, treaty obligations, and other national policies like the Clean Power Plan.)

To mitigate that uncertainty, world leaders seized the moment, and momentum, to converge, sign the agreement, and boldly proclaim to the world that, in the words of French President Francois Hollande, “There’s no turning back.”

Climate skeptics pooh-pooh the accord, dismissing it as unenforceable. But it appears that the forces beyond those skeptics’ control have already taken root, namely enhanced efficiency standards for buildings and vehicles, the meteoric growth of renewables, and the collapse of the coal industry, all of which are facilitating the emerging clean economy.

Those same skeptics (with former Presidential candidate Marco Rubio at the front of the queue) argue that, regardless of what the U.S. does, the planet is doomed because of China and India’s polluting activities.  While they’re certainly right about the extent of the impact that the super-nations have on the health of our environment, they’ve vastly underestimated the extent to which those two countries have committed to climate action.

In just the past 4 months alone (since the Paris meetings), both countries have launched a staggering array of initiatives to clean up their homelands. China recently unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan, which contained intrepid targets for solving the country’s pressing environmental problems.

Read the full story on how China and India are addressing climate change...

Keywords: Environment | COP21 | COP21 climate talks | Energy | Environment | Green Builder Media | Sara Gutterman | sustainable economy

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

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