President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States comes at a moment of high tension in Sino-U.S. relations. But amid uncertainty around China's economy and acrimony on cybersecurity, at least one issue holds promise for positive collaboration: climate change.
Climate, Energy & Transport
The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals aim to eradicate poverty and spur economic growth while respecting planetary boundaries. Now world leaders face the difficult task of putting them into action.
Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States marks a spiritual moment that brings an intense focus to the world’s neediest. His arrival comes just as the new Sustainable Development Goals are about to be formalized and three months before the world is expected to unite around a global climate agreement in Paris. This trio of events may signal a profound shift for people and the planet.
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."
Both the aviation and maritime sectors have a significant role to play in reducing their emissions to help the world stay on a 2 degree C trajectory – with major economic wins ahead if they do.
The finance stream of the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, last week showed a clearer narrative emerge about the key elements that should be included in the outcomes of the December climate summit in Paris.
This week's climate talks in Bonn made important progress on the core structure of an international climate agreement, but time is short and countries will need to intensify their efforts to set the stage for success at COP21 in Paris in December.
As a former U.S. energy secretary, UN ambassador and governor of New Mexico, WRI Board Member Bill Richardson has watched the debate over the Clean Power Plan with keen interest. Here he explains how this common-sense rule to cut dangerous air pollution can help U.S. states and the national economy, while putting the United States in a leadership position in dealing with the international issue of climate change.
Large trucks and airplanes account for about one-third of total U.S. transportation emissions. WRI analysis shows that setting strong efficiency standards for these sectors could deliver at least 6 percent of the total reductions the United States needs to meet its goal of reducing total emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Entering the second and final week of key climate change negotiations in Bonn, it's clear that the pace of the talks needs to kick into higher gear.