Pressing Questions, Elusive Answers on Climate Change

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Pressing Questions, Elusive Answers on Climate Change

The world is awash in questions about how we will respond to the urgent need for climate action, but answers remain obscure.
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Green Builder Media, CEO, Sara Gutterman

Green Builder Media

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 7:00am

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

As we race towards the upcoming COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change taking place in Paris in December, pressure is mounting to come up with concrete commitments and practical proposals to solve the critical issues of carbon emissions, clean energy adoption, resiliency, and climate action.

151 countries from Mexico to China have submitted plans to dramatically reduce emissions, rapidly adopt renewables, and quickly implement carbon pricing programs that incentivize heavy polluters to clean themselves up.

Even India—which had been the last major holdout (and the only country other than China to reject the roadmap for emissions reductions proposed by the UN in 2011)—recently announced its commitment to generate 40% of the country’s electricity from renewables and other low carbon sources by 2030. While India’s pledge was light on emissions reduction targets and other details, the commitment indicates that the global agreement to be proposed in Paris will most likely be supported by all of the world’s largest economies.

But tenacious questions remain, and answers are abstract at best. To begin with, how will these climate action plans be financed? Are developed countries allocating enough funds for successful implementation? And will the financial assistance that has been promised to date by developed countries be enough to assist smaller, poorer nations in coping with the effects of global warming, reducing emissions, and leapfrogging the lazy temptation of reverting to 19th and 20th century fuel sources and land management practices (namely, clearing old growth forests for grazing and agriculture)? If not, what then?

What kind of legal and monitoring frameworks will be created to impose the agreement on a global scale?

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Keywords: Environment | Clean Power Plan | Green Builder Media | Sara Gutterman

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

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