Providing support for ambitious implementation of the Climate Action Plan to achieve near-term emission reductions and to enable the Obama Administration to put forward an ambitious offer for the 2015 agreement.
Much of the discussion in the environmental world focuses on tipping points—beyond which global warming becomes so great it causes ecosystems and economies to collapse. But former Vice President Al Gore thinks we’re reaching a new kind of tipping point, one where climate change action becomes a priority for governments and businesses.
The UN Climate Summit brought together more than 125 heads of state and government officials—the largest-ever climate meeting of world leaders. Leaders clearly demonstrated their understanding that the impacts of climate change are real and costly, and that they no longer have to choose between economic growth and climate action—they go hand-in-hand.
WRI’s experts were in New York for all the action. While the outcomes from the Summit are still evolving, here’s our first look at progress made and next steps.
The UN Climate Summit will draw 125 heads of state and government to address the global challenge of climate change, the biggest gathering of its kind ever. Building on the excitement of the massive People’s Climate March on September 21, we should expect some movement on the key question of how to finance climate solutions.
Setting prices that reflect these side effects—through taxes, licensing, or cap-and-trade systems—could reduce deaths from fossil fuel-related air pollution by 63 percent, decrease global carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent, and generate revenues totaling about 2.6 percent of global GDP.
China and the United States are world’s leaders when it comes to CCUS research and development, and this week’s agreements build on a long history of CCUS collaboration between the two nations. In fact, China-US partnership on CCUS has in many respects now left the theoretical feasibility realm and entered the “steel-in-the-ground” phase.
While the climate change debate continues in some quarters in Washington, the impact of sea-level rise cut across political divides at the “Rising to the Challenge” conference in Norfolk, Virginia, earlier this week. Members of Congress and Virginia mayors from both political parties joined military and state and local officials to discuss the challenges sea level rise presents to the Hampton Roads area, as well as how to promote federal, state and local action.
“We cannot afford to do nothing, it is time to act,” Mayor Sessoms said, underscoring that the impacts of climate change are not a political issue, but a backyard issue threatening communities in Virginia.
U.S. climate action received support yesterday from four former EPA administrators who served Republican presidents. William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman testified before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee at a hearing entitled “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now.”
They delivered a clear message for Congress: Climate change is one of the greatest threats to America’s economy, environment, and communities—and it need not be a partisan issue.
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan, the first time the United States has set standards to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. The Plan sets emissions reduction goals for individual states; once the goals are finalized next year, states will develop plans to achieve the necessary reductions. EPA’s modeling indicates that the standards will reduce national carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.