Leaders Move to Convert Paris Climate Pledges Into Action

Positive news from the Paris climate talks. The New York Times reported December 13 on actions agreed to by participating countries:

PARIS — Before the applause had even settled in the suburban convention center where the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus on Saturday night, world leaders warned that momentum for the historic accord must not be allowed to dissipate.

“Today, we celebrate,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union’s energy commissioner and top climate negotiator. “Tomorrow, we have to act.”

With nearly every nation on earth having now pledged to gradually reduce emissions of the heat-trapping gases that are warming the planet — a universal commitment that had eluded negotiators and activists since the first Earth Day summit meeting, in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 — much of the burden for maintaining the momentum now shifts back to the countries to figure out, and put in place, the concrete steps needed to deliver on their pledges.

The task may prove most challenging for India, which is struggling to lift more than half of its population of 1.25 billion out of poverty and to provide basic electricity to 300 million of them. Rich countries are intent that India not get stuck on a coal-dependent development path. Read more.

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