Historic Paris Agreement: A Holiday Gift to the World

by Jane Weissman

IREC President/CEO

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.

Details on the Paris Climate Change Agreement

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Jane has been the President and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. since 1994. From 1985 until 1991, she was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Photovoltaic Center. In 2004, Jane was elected an America Solar Energy Society's Fellow. She serves on a number of boards including the National Advisory Board for NSF's ATE CREATE and co-chairs ANSI's Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative, Working Group 5. She has been chairing the national Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference since 2006. Jane has been invited by the Congress of the United States to provide expert testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment to discuss workforce development and training issues. Jane received the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society and the Renewable Energy World's Leadership Award in policy. She has published papers and spoken widely on topics in the field of renewable energy, photovoltaics, public policy and credentialing. Jane is based out of Boston, Massachusetts and is an avid Red Sox fan.

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