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Monday, November 30, 2015

What Is the Paris Climate Change Conference?

By Frederic Beaudry

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference is held November 30 to December 11 in Paris, France. The avowed goal of this conference is to reach a comprehensive, binding agreement on climate change bringing together all the world’s nations. The main commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol expired in 2012, and was extended to 2020. Scientists now believe that the Kyoto commitments are not enough to turn the tide of climate change.

At the 2014 U.N. Climate Summit in New York, a lot of ground work was done in preparation for the 2015 Paris meeting, and there are high hopes for a brand new agreement.

A successful agreement in Paris would have to be aimed at keeping the rise in global average temperatures at or below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average. The necessity to reach such an agreement is urgent. As the emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise, our ability to keep global warming below critical thresholds is diminishing.

A new agreement will have to aggressively support the development of renewable, carbon-neutral energy sources like wind and solar.

According to United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, it is precisely this immense technological challenge that should convince reluctant countries to enter a meaningful agreement. Economic benefits will come from the development of renewable energy, including economic growth, technology jobs, and exports, she told the Associated Press.

While waiting after the slow pace of international diplomacy, here are some actions which anyone can take right now:

Pro Tips to Reduce your Greenhouse Gas Emissions

5 Actions to Slow Down Climate Change

Keeping a Small Carbon Footprint While on Vacation

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