Landmark Climate Change Agreement has been signed in Paris: A good start but not the end
On December 12th nearly 200 countries agreed that the pathway to save our planet is to keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground and move our economy from a carbon based economy to one built on renewable energy
President Announces Paris Climate Deal
Representatives from 195 countries unanimously committed to deeper emissions reductions aimed at keeping total warming “to well below 2°C [3.6°F] above pre-industrial levels.” The full text of this Paris Agreement goes even further, with the parties agreeing “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”
During the Paris talks many Climate Justice activists have questioned the exclusion of the most disenfranchised sectors of the planet that have been most effected by Climate Change. As well as reports from leaked documents that the fossil fuel target would be 2.5 or 3 degrees Celsius. However the deal is better then expected and has been praised by scientists and advocates.
360.Org released a statement saying;"While there’s so much this deal leaves undone and so much work still to do, the Paris Agreement does finally send a signal to the world that the age of fossil fuels is over."
"The agreement “sends a very powerful message to the business and investment community that the age of fossil fuels is ending - Thus, continued investments in high-carbon assets conflicts with their fiduciary responsibility.” -The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Alden Meyer
Another thing to keep in mind is that the agreement is not binding or codified in International law. Every nation that has signed the agreement has the right not to participate. The Political climate of each nation will determine in many ways how effective the Paris accords will be. In the United States the GOP lead congress have already begun to pass bills nullifying President Obama from implementing any of the proposed changes to stave off climate change.
The elephant in the room is how at a time when many are clamoring for more war can nations mobilizing global to reshape the economy? In many ways our world's economy is dependent on military build up. War profiteers have for the passed 50 years have had a stranglehold on politicians and do not seem willing to relinquish their grip anytime soon.
Recently at a Suisse conference in West Palm Beach, investors got peace of mind from several of the major defense contractors, which include; Lockheed Martin, Oshkosh and Raytheon.
One executive in particular, Lockheed Martin’s Executive Vice President Bruce Tanner seemed outright giddy over the escalation of conflict in the Middle East, and the stranglehold ISIS has on the region. He admitted that, with U.S. involvement, there will be “an intangible lift because of the dynamics of that environment and our products in theater.” Admitting that there will be a need for airstrikes and that the F-22 Lockheed puts out is one of the primary jets used in military operations overseas in that region. This is on top of providing products for nations like Saudi Arabia in their conflicts.
Any legitimate move to combat climate change has to include a strong peace movement. Every bomb, drone strike etc contributes largely to the carbon pollution levels in our atmosphere.
With that said the agreement reached in Paris over the weekend is historical in nature and ambitious in scope and is what the world needs as this time which is an agreed upon benchmark to shoot for.