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sumisom | Ideas

Breakdown: tackling climate change


View over Mexico City, clear sky above, city below

Restrictions on driving and industry have helped to reduce emissions in Mexico City.

A lot of experts and analysts in the field of climate change say 2012 is a key year in the battle against global warming. Coming off the heels of Durban, many believe this will be the year to prove that the world is ready to take the next step forward – especially with significant parts of the Kyoto Protocol set to expire by the end of the year.

But to move forward, it’s important to know exactly where we stand! National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States recently featured a great breakdown on what the world’s political powers – and some of the biggest polluters – are doing to fight climate change in their respective countries. According to the article, the many of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters have already set goals on a national level to slash harmful emissions. Because there has been little progress on the international level, they have decided to move forward at home.

Those national goals include things like putting a stop to deforestation, investing more in clean, renewable energy sources and working with cap-and-trade policies to curb emissions. If you live in one of the listed countries, take a look at what your government is doing to fight climate change…and if not, let us know!


January 9, 2012



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sumisom | COP17

A COP17 Explainer

(Photo: AP)

With all the coverage of the current UN climate talks in Durban, it’s not always easy to tell exactly what’s going on. There are tons of issues on the table, and for those of us on the outside, it can be a bit confusing to figure out what’s being discussed and what needs to get done.

Ecosystem Marketplace has a great explainer on the nuts and bolts of COP17.

The Kyoto Protocol is the biggest issue up for discussion, and it’s a contentious one. Most developed countries signed on to the agreement, meaning they committed to slashing greenhouse gases. But developing countries didn’t, and that’s split the two sides down the middle. The first part of the Kyoto Protocol runs out next year, and developed countries won’t hit the emissions target they originally agreed to.

But it also gets more specific, like REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). That’s a way to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Luckily, deforestation is an issue both developing AND developed countries can agree on, and they’re hammering out more details in Durban right now.

Once you’re armed with all that information, it’s a little bit easier to understand what is and more importantly isn’t happening at COP17.


December 1, 2011



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