After 20 years of military engagement and billions of dollars spent, the United States announced that it will withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Syracuse University’s Mark Jacobson is the assistant dean of Washington programs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public…
Lack of Federal Leadership Is No Reason for Global Sustainability Effort to Stop
This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report highlighting a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC (34.7ºF) compared to 2ºC (35.6ºF) or more.
Charles Driscoll, whose research focus includes the health impacts of climate change, is University Professor of Environmental Systems at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. With the U.S. already out of the Paris Climate Agreement, he says individual states, American citizens and market forces will have to take the effort to curb climate change into their own hands.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the challenges in combating climate change is an important message that was released at an appropriate time. The pledges made by countries during the Paris Climate Accord in 2016 were a first attempt by the global community to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with the goal to limit the increase in global air temperature by 2oC. Unfortunately, our current rate of carbon dioxide emissions and projections for future emissions suggest that unless we markedly change our path this goal will be difficult to achieve. The Trump Administration backed out of the U.S. commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions made in the Paris Agreement.
“This past August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backed off on Obama Administration plan for more aggressive fuel efficiency standards to decrease automobile emissions. Moreover, they propose to replace the Clean Power Plan, the Obama plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, with the Affordable Clean Energy plan that will do little to limit carbon releases from the electric utility sector.
“Given the lack of leadership by the U.S. government – states, citizens and market forces will need to act to control carbon dioxide emissions and limit global climate change and its associated effects.”
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