It’s the start of the two-week United Nations conference on climate change in Paris with over 40,000 attendees from the international community. The goal is to set standards for curbing greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. Here are five key points from the summit that will influence energy news and global business news.
1. This Isn’t the World’s First Climate Negotiations Rodeo
Nearly 25 years ago, the UN got to work organizing the UNFCCC, or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This led to the eventual creation of The Kyoto Protocol, which set mandatory international limits on greenhouse gas emissions, the last of which are set to expire in 2020.
2. Emerging Countries Must Commit in Big Ways
The success of any provisions depends strongly on China’s participation. The world’s leading polluter—contributing over a quarter of the world’s CO2 emissions—is invested in a cap-and-trade program and peaking its carbon emissions by 2030. World leaders in oil production, including Saudi Arabia, have plans in the work to combat the extreme heat caused by global warming. The U.S. will continue to phase out coal power plants, and India is committed to preserving more forest.
3. This Summit Could be the “Last Chance” to Address Sea-Level Rise
Vulnerable developing nations will be counting on the assistance from rich countries, and not just financially. If these implications are disregarded, refugee crises and natural disasters could be just the tip of the iceberg.
4. Rise in Global Temperatures? Not Just a Californian Drought
1.53 degrees Fahrenheit (0.85 Celsius) may not sound like much, but this rise in average Earth temperatures has been responsible for crop failures, extreme natural disasters, and mass displacement.
5. A Tidal Wave of Investing in Renewable Energy
According to the International Energy Agency, only 0.5 percent of our total international energy comes from solar and wind power. Meanwhile, China has invested over $90 billion in clean energy. With momentum from global leaders, this summit envisions a bottom-up platform for flexible international commitments.