[Environment] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The World Agreed to Tackle Climate Change, But What Comes Next?

 

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ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE:

The World Agreed to Tackle Climate Change, But What Comes Next?

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The World Agreed to Tackle Climate Change, But What Comes Next?

Kelly Stone

Policy Analyst with Action Aid USA focused on biofuels, food security, land use, and climate change.

09/24/2016 10:36 am ET

Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-stone/ the-world-agreed-to-tackl_b_12125642.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j9epmlt

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Although countries reached agreement nearly one year ago, the agreement doesnt actually enter into force enough countries complete their own approval process. Earlier this month, both the U.S. and China approved the agreement, and as other countries follow, its likely that it will enter into force before the end of the year, once 55 countries, representing 55 per cent of global emissions, sign on. But once the agreement is approved, what happens next?

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Optimists will tell you that the agreement is a turning point in the fight against climate change. From the U.S. and Germany to China and Senegal, countries came together and agreed that climate change was a threat and that action needs to be taken. That the details are imperfect is to be expected. And considering most of our own Congress is still denying the science behind climate change, the UN process adds some much-needed sanity!

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This is partially true – the agreement is a major diplomatic achievement. There are some parts of the Paris Agreement that I agree with and fought for – including the very fact that it exists at all. The importance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the inclusion of human rights, and the importance of helping communities adapt to hotter temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns and extreme weather.

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But there are parts of the agreement that I strongly disagree with. The low levels of ambition, lack of a clear roadmap for how money will be made available to help people adapt to the changing climate and the promotion of false solutions to climate change that rely on large areas of land to grow food crops to be burned as fuel.

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As with all major negotiations, you have to look at the whole deal and then consider whether its something you can support – and keep fighting for the things that are missing. But the problem is that climate change will not wait for us to figure all this out. The huge levels of greenhouse gases that we continue to pump into our atmosphere will result in warming that will have dire consequences, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable people.

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To be clear, this isnt something we can just get right next time. Once this pollution is in our atmosphere, it will stay there for well over a hundred years. Trees, grasslands and other plants can help absorb these harmful emissions, but the amount of greenhouse gases they can store is limited, and any progress will be reversed if forest fires or other natural disasters cause these gases to be released.

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Youll also hear people saying that technology will solve our problems. But much of these ideas like Carbon Sequestration and Storage or Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage havent been proven to work at a large enough level. Plus, things like biofuels also require huge amount of land to grow the crops that we then burn as energy, which makes local food prices more unstable and means local people are being pushed off their land to make way for plantations that grow food for fuel.

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All this means that the only way forward is to cut our harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Environment] ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The World Agreed to Tackle Climate Change, But What Comes Next?

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