China Daily European Weekly : 2018-11-30

Comment : 13 : 13


13 COMMENT EUROPEAN WEEKLY November 30-December 6, 2018 CHINA DAILY By MANISH BAPNA A s negotiators prepare for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland, the world is at an existential crossroads: It can continue on a path of gradual but insufficient progress on climate change, or shift to high gear to avoid the worst effects of rising global temperatures. Fortunately, our understanding of the economic benefits of climate action is greater than ever. The world must wake up to seize these opportunities or face rising consequences of inaction. Decisions we take today will make the difference to the generations to come. We know from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report, released in October, that the window to keep the world temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees C is closing. We need major, immediate transformation across economic sectors, including how we generate and use energy, how we plan and live in cities, how we produce and consume food, and how we use and protect forests. We know that every additional fraction of a degree of warming can have a negative impact on economic growth, prosperity and quality of life. The Paris Agreement, forged in 2015, brought the world together around the goal of limiting emissions below 2 C. Today, many national governments are moving forward, though not at the pace that is necessary. More encouragingly, we are seeing businesses, provinces and states, and cities making progress. Many businesses are moving faster than governments to adopt low-carbon strategies. Nearly 500 companies have committed to set science-based targets to reduce climate-warming emissions in line with the Paris climate pact. More than 150 major companies, with a combined annual revenue of $2.75 trillion (2.4 trillion euros; £2.1 trillion) have joined the RE100 initiative, committing to power their operations entirely with renewable energy. In the financial sector, more than 500 companies and organizations with combined market capitalization of more than $7.9 trillion have publicly committed to support recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, which recognizes the need for voluntary, consistent disclosures of climate-related financial risk to investors, lenders, insurers and others. In the United States, too, there are signs of momentum despite the opposition of US President Donald Trump’s administration. For example, a new law in California — which has the fifth-largest economy in the world — requires that all of its electricity must be generated by renewable energy and zero-carbon sources by 2045. California recently joined two PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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