UN Climate Conference in Lima May Bring More Inaction
About 2 months ago, hundreds of thousands of people around the world took to the streets in a People’s Climate March to demand action on climate change. Now, at the United Nations Climate Conference in Lima, Peru those activists will find out whether their cries for action were actually heard. Yesterday marked the beginning of the conference where delegates from more than 190 countries will set the agenda for next year’s meeting in Paris.
The ultimate goal is to prevent a 2 degree Celsius or 3.6 degree Fahrenheit rise in world temperatures. But with 2014 being the hottest year on record after 20 years of climate talks, environmental groups remain skeptical about whether politics can be set aside for the greater good of the planet.
Two countries responsible for 42% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, China and the US, have already made promises to reduce their emissions. The US has pledged to reduce emissions by up to 28% below 2005 levels by the year 2025 and China has promised to reduce emissions after the year 2030. The European Union, which is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has also pledged to cut emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. While these promises might seem encouraging, none of them are legally binding. And, the UN has determined that carbon emissions need to be reduced well before 2030 in order to avoid catastrophic warming.
GUEST: Michael Dorsey, Interim Director, Program on Energy & Environment, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and Food First board member. Was a member of Senator Barack Obama’s energy and environment Presidential campaign team and also served on the EPA’s National Advisory Committee
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