Although the conference in Paris was meant to bring a solution to global warming climate change talks are far from going well.
It is expected that global temperatures are going to rise to about 3.9 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Moreover, the Arctic ice that’s melting will raise sea levels very quickly and high enough to flood islands in the Pacific. And we’re not talking deserted islands, but island nations or coastal cities such as Shanghai. Besides, deserts are expanding and global agriculture is at risk. Therefore, something must be done at international level.
The solution that seems to be the most or actually the only viable one in order to limit the negative influences is reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions refer mostly to CO2 or carbon dioxide that comes from automobiles, electrical generation and other uses.
This is why the 167 participating in the Paris conference are promising to reduce these gas emissions or try to make a change in the industrialization process in order to stop temperatures from increasing. However, given the calculations, these changes can only reduce the increase in temperature by 1 degree Celsius.
Although it’s clear that efforts are being made, some countries move slower than others. For example, China, a country that accounts for 25% of the global carbon dioxide emissions will only make these changes by 2030. It appears that China is less concerned with global warming and moves accordingly.
Similarly, India also makes vague commitments, without promising anything conclusive, choosing to only reduce gas emissions in a very long time, despite the fact that CO2 emissions must be cut as soon as possible. On the other hand, some of the poorest nations such as Ethiopia and Gambia promised to absolutely reduce their emissions.
In the U.S. a 9 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions was accomplished from 2005 to 2011. This happened due to the high demand for fuel efficient vehicles and the pressure put on the industry for keeping energy costs down.
Now, naturally, EPA and other federal agencies are pushing to accelerate the gas emission reductions in order to meet COP21 targets. However, this makes energy more expensive and may encourage some manufactures to move to China where environmental laws are more permissive.
This change of venue from the U.S. to China will actually increase CO2 emissions due to the fact that the fossil fuels are used inefficiently. It looks like Asian economies being too lax will bring more pollution at a global level and will slow down the other countries’ growth. For example, the U.S. growth has slowed since the beginning of the century from 3.4 percent to 1.8 percent some of the causes being trade, currency and environmental policies that seem to work in the benefit of Asian countries which are meant to pollute the world even more and at a faster pace.
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