What a difference a few years can make.
Over the last few years, climate change has expanded from a mostly "environmental" threat that engaged a small minority of the world economies, into a wide-ranging environmental, economic, moral and military threat that now has a sizable majority of the world's economic powers committed. Here's a look at the new landscape. (NOTE: This article originally published April 23, 2015 on the NationalObserver.com: click here to read the original article...
Spotlight: Paris 2015 vs. Copenhagen 2009
As my infographic below illustrates, international commitment to solving the climate crisis has grown dramatically since the last major climate conference in 2009.
CHART: Compares national climate commitments by the 12 largest climate polluters leading into Copenhagen 2009 vs Paris 2015 climate conferences. These 12 emit three-quarters of global GHGs. Chart by Barry Saxifrage.
Then: small minority at Copenhagen'09
Six years ago, as the world headed into the Copenhagen 2009 climate conference, only a quarter of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions were covered by commitments to peak and then lower emissions.1 Just one of the three major economies, the European Union (EU), had made commitments.
Discussions hadn't even begun on carbon budgets, carbon bubbles, stranded assets or divestment. Pipelines got rubber-stamped.
Major religions, anti-poverty and human rights groups were not strongly engaged. Global finance was mostly on the sidelines.
Now: global majority for Paris '15
Today, heading into the next major climate conference, Paris 2015, more than two-thirds of the world's emissions are covered by public commitments to peak and lower emissions.2 Over two-thirds of the global economy is signed up.
For the first time, many major developing nations are committed.
Joining these major nation-states is a rapidly growing list of global financial, religious and civil society groups. Even the US military is increasingly engaged.
While the most critical requirement – a reduction in global climate pollution – hasn't happened yet, the underlying commitment to find a solution has grown dramatically. The global trend-line is towards ever greater engagement and commitment....Click here to continue reading the full article at the National Observer