Tuesday March 26, 2019
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US Way Behind The Paris Climate Agreement Pledge: Report

The state of California just passed a bill committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Other announcements are expected.

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Developed countries are being urged to honour Paris Agreement. Flickr

The United States will fall well short of its 2025 greenhouse gas reduction target for the betterment of the climate unless major additional steps are taken, according to a new report.

While U.S. states, cities and companies have promised to step up their efforts to fight climate change as the Trump administration pulls back, the report finds their actions will not be enough to meet the emissions reduction pledge the United States made in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

But the report outlines steps that can get the United States “within striking distance of the Paris pledge.”

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy is releasing the study, entitled “Fulfilling America’s Pledge,” to coincide with a major conference on global action to tackle climate change taking place in San Francisco.

Under the Paris agreement, the United States promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2025.

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The U.S. flag flies on a towboat as it passes a coal-fired power-plant on the Ohio River. VOA

U.S. emissions were down 12 percent in 2016, the latest data available.

Economic forces are helping push emissions down, the study notes, regardless of President Donald Trump’s intention to pull the United States out of the agreement and his administration’s efforts to roll back climate regulations. Coal-fired power plants are closing faster than ever, despite Trump’s support for the industry, and renewable energy continues to expand rapidly.

However, many states, cities and businesses remain committed to the Paris agreement. If this “coalition of the willing” were a country, the report says, it would be the world’s third-largest economy.

Their actions currently put U.S. emissions on track to drop by 17 percent by 2025. However, that falls far short of the Paris pledge.

 

The report lists 10 “high-impact, near-term, and readily available” strategies to accelerate progress. They include speeding up the transition from coal to renewable energy; increasing electric vehicle use; improving building efficiency; and stopping leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

 

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The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words “Paris Agreement is Done,” to celebrate the Paris U.N. Climate Change agreement in Paris. VOA

 

These steps would bring U.S. emission reductions to 21 percent.

If that “coalition of the willing” takes bigger steps — “within realistic legal and political limits” — the report says reductions could reach 24 percent.

Also Read: Sports Betting Now Legal in USA

The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week is a venue to announce new actions. The state of California just passed a bill committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Other announcements are expected. (VOA)

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IIT And IIS Collaborate To Develop Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment For The Indian Himalayan Region

"Being situated in the Himalayan region, IIT-Mandi is proud to be a part of this vulnerability assessment exercise and a leader in technology in this region."

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The 12 states are Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, hilly districts of West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Pixabay

The Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati, Indian Institute of Technology-Mandi and Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru have collaborated to develop a climate change vulnerability assessment for the Indian Himalayan region using a common framework, it was announced on Thursday.

The assessment exercise is unique because for the first time all 12 Himalayan states have used a common framework resulting in the production of comparable state-level and within state, district-level vulnerability maps.

Such comparable vulnerability assessments are useful for the governments, implementers, decision makers, funding agencies and development experts to gain a common understanding on vulnerability, enabling them to assess which state is more vulnerable, what has made them vulnerable and how they might address these vulnerabilities.

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“The adaptation to climate change is a collaborative effort between appropriate use of technology, a vision that produces policies, a change at ground level and engaging the local communities.” Pixabay

The framework and the results were presented here at a national workshop on ‘Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for States and the Union Territories Using a Common Framework’ organised by IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Mandi with support from IISc Bengaluru, the Department of Science and Technology and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The 12 states are Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, hilly districts of West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

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Such comparable vulnerability assessments are useful for the governments, implementers, decision makers, funding agencies and development experts to gain a common understanding on vulnerability, enabling them to assess which state is more vulnerable, what has made them vulnerable and how they might address these vulnerabilities. Pixabay

Highlighting impact of the project, Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, said: “The adaptation to climate change is a collaborative effort between appropriate use of technology, a vision that produces policies, a change at ground level and engaging the local communities.”

“These vulnerability maps will play a crucial role in this effort.”

Also Read: U.S. Government Grounds Boeing After Intense Pressure

Timothy A. Gonsalves, Director IIT-Mandi, said: “Being situated in the Himalayan region, IIT-Mandi is proud to be a part of this vulnerability assessment exercise and a leader in technology in this region.”

Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy Tamara Mona said: “Switzerland, like India, has a long experience in facing the potential opportunities and risks. Swiss national policy for climate change adaptation has been complemented by local government strategies, based on detailed and locally anchored risks assessment, maps and preparedness, plans and actions.” (IANS)