Quirks & Quarks

Failing the Climate Challenge?

The Climate Summit this week may not lead to international agreements, but local efforts are showing how to reduce emissions....

The Climate Summit this week may not lead to international agreements, but local efforts are showing how to reduce emissions.This past week, world leaders were invited to the UN in New York for a Climate Summit, at which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hoped to generate new momentum for an international agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. However, recent negotiations have not produced much in the way of significant commitments by the major producers - the US, China, India and Russia, and global emissions continue to rise. Dr. Mark Jaccard specializes in sustainable energy and climate policy in the School of Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He thinks chances of a major international agreement to control emissions in the near term are not great. On the other hand, he suggests that there are some very promising initiatives happening at the local and regional level, some within Canada, that demonstrate that regulation, appropriate economic policies, and sustainable technologies can have an impact on emissions. He suggests that this has removed some of the familiar excuses for inaction, including the notion that emissions reductions are not practical and will have dire economic consequences.

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