Heating up the Fight Against Climate Change

Heating up the Fight Against Climate Change

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Friday, December 4, 2015 - 8:00am

Over the past year, the debate about what actions should be taken to halt climate change has continued in earnest. Involvement from experts, religious leaders, companies, activists, and consumers has reached a fever pitch, and governments have responded. The United States and China reached a historic agreement to curb emissions and promote renewable energy, which has led to advancements such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, and the world’s largest cap and trade program. The United Nations is ramping up for COP21—the 21st Session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—and has included climate change in its new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were accepted in late September by all 193 member states.

Yet, according to a new study released by Climate Interactive, the current climate commitments that our leaders have made will not be enough. Their analysis finds that if all of the climate pledges that had been made by September 28 are honored, the global temperature will increase by 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, considerably more than the 2 degrees C that experts agree is the limit to maintaining life on Earth as we know it.

To truly ensure safe, healthy, and prosperous communities, the business community is going to have to step into the fight against climate change in a bigger way. Business leaders, including The Walt Disney CompanyXcel Energy, and Wells Fargo, are already working to establish discipline around natural capital pricing with internal chargebacks for emissions, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because—as President Barack Obama said during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit—it is “one of the smartest investments we can make in our own future.”

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CATEGORY: Environment