In an address to the U.N. General Assembly today, President Barack Obama underscored the need for world leaders to lay out an “ambitious” agreement for combating global carbon emissions.
In an agreement with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, it was recognized that the U.S. and China comprise the two biggest emitters of carbon gasses in the world. According to CBC News, Obama said our two nations “have a responsibility to lead.”
“No nation can meet this global threat alone.”
Over 150 countries attended today’s Climate Change Summit, which was held in New York, NY at the U.N General Assembly. The objective of establishing realistic goals and pledging support was hard-won among some emerging economies most reliant on natural resource exports. For example, Brazil said it would not join the effort to end deforestation by 2030. Clear-cut farming and agriculture is among the biggest industry in Brazil – a double-edged sword which has helped the country rise towards first-world status in recent decades.
During opening statements, actor Leonardo DiCaprio gave a statement urging governments and corporations to end government subsidies on oil, coal and gas companies. “This is not a partisan debate, it’s a human one. Solving this question is not about politics, it’s about human survival,” said DiCaprio.
In recent political debates, conservatives in the U.S. have leaned heavily on a platform of “cheap” energy production (remember ‘Drill, Baby Drill’?) for the appeasement of voters who want to pay less and drive more. However, as climate change becomes more prevalent, voters are beginning to come around. Arguments around the so-called lack of economic viability of clean energy production such as wind, solar and geothermal have been revealed as fallacy, while real-world impacts of climate change are being felt by real people in real communities.
That so many U.S. cities have already adopted clean energy demonstrates the very real possibility that clean fuel is both affordable and within reach.