Global Director of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Ani Dasgupta explains why the world cannot curb climate change without managing cities differently.
Like anything that goes mainstream, a backlash to carbon pricing was inevitable. But the arguments for carbon pricing are so compelling that critics have been forced to invent their own arguments to criticize.
Nearly 90 percent of countries that submitted new climate action plans included an adaptation component, reflecting the growing importance nations are placing on resilience in their response to climate change.
WRI Climate Director Jennifer Morgan describes COP 21 as "a chance to change course together through a new form of international cooperation—hopefully in time to save the planet."
The international community has adopted a goal to limit global warming below 2°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial levels (and consider 1.5 degrees C) in order to avoid some of the worst climate impacts. However, the 2°C goal does not easily guide every day decision-making because it does not state who needs to act, by how much and by when. So negotiators are considering a second, complementary goal which would operationalize the target to limit warming below 2°C. Many have termed this a “long-term goal” which would aim to send a much clearer signal to the world what pathway key players need to follow to stay below 2°C.
Countries' new climate plans will substantially bend the global emissions trajectory, but they still don't go far enough to limit warming to 2 degrees C and avoid some of the worst climate impacts.
While the United States has received criticism in the past for lackluster climate action, recent evidence shows the country is ramping up its ambition—progress that will likely last well beyond COP 21 in Paris.
Last week, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board met for its last meeting before the upcoming climate talks in Paris. Countries created the GCF to be the main global fund for climate finance, and as such, it could play a vital role in delivering the goals of an agreement in Paris. If the GCF is to be a key player in the future climate regime, it needs to show that it can effectively spend money. Is it up to the task?
Three key items are important for ensuring that the new climate agreement is ambitious, fair and effective.
As Secretary Kerry noted, Virginia's Hampton Roads area, experiencing increasing coastal flooding due to sea level rise, is a microcosm of the bigger risks facing our nation and world.