When leaders signed the original convention on climate change 23 years ago, the occasion had a tone of strong moral purpose and promise. In Paris next week, we have the opportunity to fulfill that promise.
The Montreal Protocol, designed to protect Earth's ozone layer, is one of the most successful environmental treaties ever. The time is ripe to use the Protocol to phase down the use of climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs.
It is impossible to succeed in today's economy without access to energy. But for an estimated 1.3 billion people, mostly in the developing world, electric power is still out of reach. Even among those with energy access, many still face unreliable service and regular blackouts. This is why it is so important that we push for Goal 7 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals: "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all."
The Obama administration committed to reduce U.S. emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. A new WRI study reveals how to achieve that target—and go even further—through existing federal policies and state action.