While people are starting to think about how to implement the Paris Climate Agreement, it's clear that Mother Nature isn't willing to wait. Several climate and scientific milestones have happened since the Agreement's adoption four months ago, underscoring the need for immediate and comprehensive action.
More than 100 companies have now committed to use the best science available as the basis for setting greenhouse gas emissions-reduction targets. Targets informed by science might well be effective in reducing risks posed by water as well—but there are hurdles to overcome first.
More and more companies are setting science-based emissions-reduction targets. These targets represent a company’s share of the global carbon budget, the amount of carbon the world can collectively emit while hoping to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees C.
What led to the successful adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21? WRI's Michael Oko sees persistence, determination and the increasing clarity of climate science as key factors.
Climate negotiators who helped craft the new Paris Agreement have long wrestled with language about the long-term goal to give guidance to investors and policymakers on what they need to do and when. There's a complex balancing act involved.
"The shift to a clean energy economy is inevitable -- it's no longer a matter of if, but when," WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer writes. "Elected officials can make America a leader in this new clean energy future and ensure that Americans enjoy better health and a more vigorous economy."
While negotiators huddle at COP21 in Paris, the Global Carbon Project just released its latest assessment of carbon dioxide emissions trends through 2014, showing where emissions are now and where they are headed. Learn about four of the report's key findings.
The companies represent $932 billion in revenue and 476 million tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Their commitment to align their emissions-reduction goals with what the latest climate science says is necessary to limit warming to 2 degrees C will make a huge impact.
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.