New books come out all the time. And for most books, their target audience are usually specific groups of people. It’s quite rare for a book to have an impact on the whole world. But that’s just what the new book “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope” is doing — in this troubled times, it’s a book that gives hope to the entire world. Assuming, of course, that the information it contains is accurate.
It was in December 2015 when almost 200 of the world’s nations came together to devise strategic measures that would limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (or lower) above pre-industrial temperatures. And this shall forever be known as the ‘Paris Climate Agreement’.
The conditions set forth in this treaty were used by University of Maryland scientists to build an empirical model of global climate so they can forecast future global temperature up to the year 2100. From there, they came up with a comprehensive analysis of the Paris Agreement, and described their findings in their new book “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope”.
The main takeaway: if the countries who signed the agreement actually manage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they pledged (referred to as ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ or INDCs), there’s a good chance the treaty will meet its target, and the world will be able to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
According to Walter Tribett, one of the co-authors of the book and currently a research scientist in atmospheric and oceanic science at Maryland, the success of the treaty will depend on two conditions. “One, all conditional and unconditional INDCs must be met. Two, the mitigation of greenhouse gases needed to meet the Paris goal must be propagated out to 2060.” Currently, most INDCs will only be in effect until 2030.
While INDCs differ based on a country’s condition and needs, the common denominator among all of them is the importance of shifting to renewable sources of energy. This of course will require a major change given the fact that in order for the treaty’s goals to be achieved, 50% of the world’s energy should come from renewable resources by year 2060.
That’s over 40 years away, but it will require transition to renewable resources on a global scale. While a few countries won’t implement the cut, the rest who have the will and capability should pitch in. And since developing countries might find it even more difficult due to lack of resources and the technology required, developed countries will have to extend a helping hand so no nation gets left behind.
We’ve known it for some time that global warming is a threat that affects the entire world, and as such the solution has to be a global effort. The Paris Treaty Agreement proves that the world, or at least majority of its nations, are willing to cooperate and do their part in keeping the planet from deteriorating further. And knowing now that the treaty’s primary objective is actually attainable is indeed a ‘beacon of hope’.