by Jane Weissman
While the full impact of the Paris Accord won’t be known for years, it is by every measure a most monumental accomplishment.
One-hundred-ninety countries agreeing on anything in today’s world would warrant a cheer. In this case, it is the coming together of science and reason, for the mutual benefit of all nations and our collective, diverse future generations.
Adopted is the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.
According to a White House press release: “The Paris Agreement establishes a long term, durable global framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. For the first time, all countries commit to putting forward successive and ambitious, nationally determined climate targets and reporting on their progress towards them using a rigorous, standardized process of review.”
The agreement lays the foundation for countries to work together to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius. And it sets an ambitious vision to go even farther, complete with provisions on mitigation ambition, transparency and climate finance.
It also sends a strong signal to the private sector. “The global economy is moving towards clean energy, and through innovation and ingenuity, we can achieve our climate objectives while creating new jobs, raising standards of living and lifting millions out of poverty.” That was from the Obama Administration, but we couldn’t have stated it better.
With the new year upon us, IREC’s hope is that debate is now no longer part of climate change. Action is.