In December 2015, nearly 200 countries reached the most comprehensive global climate agreement ever. President Obama called it “ambitious, with every nation setting and committing to their own specific targets, even as we take into account differences among nations.”
Individual pledges are the core of the Paris agreement. Some pledges — those of the United States, the European Union and Brazil among them — would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, with 2030 levels below those of 2010.
Other countries’ pledges reflect their unique circumstances and capabilities. While overall Chinese and Indian emissions would increase, they would be lower than the anticipated “business as usual” levels projected for 2030, and thus contribute to significant global reductions.
Many credit the joint announcement of key climate goals by the U.S. and China in late 2014 with sparking global momentum toward the Paris agreement.
“This is a tremendous victory for all of our citizens,” said Secretary of State John Kerry. “The world has come together around an agreement that will empower us to chart a new path for our planet — a smart and responsible path, a sustainable path.”
As each country makes good on its pledges, all will report every five years on their progress. They’ll be trying different approaches: new energy sources for some nations, renewing forests for others. And with so many creative minds engaged, new and cool tech will certainly be part of the solution.