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The international community has a growing awareness of the global risk of climate change because of the rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, has increased more than ten-fold since the onset of the industrial revolution. There is no standard regarding the safe concentration level of carbon dioxide. However, the whole process requires the reduction of net emission by zero. Developed countries are responsible for more than half of the global GHG emissions. The Kyoto Protocol has established the target for developed countries and aimed to reduce the emission of these countries by 5.2 percent from their 1990 percentage levels.
Here are the actions taken by developing countries and some developing countries in the name of the fight against climate change.
China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. As the world’s largest world population and a fast-growing economy, its role in keeping the global warming temperature below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit is very crucial.
China has made contributions in the latest international climate agreement in Paris. It has made a joint announcement with the United States. China aims to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of GDP and increase the number of trees in its forests.
China plans to comply with its pledge the reduction of the use of coal, improve energy efficiency, and increasing non-fossil energy. Both China and the United States take the global leadership in investing in clean energy.
Before Barack Obama left his office, the US targets to double the reduction of carbon emission from 2.3% to 2.8% a year between 2020 and 2025. Obama has pledged to cut emissions by 17% on 2005 levels by 2020. He also planned to decrease by 32% greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 2030. These power plants are the largest single source of US carbon pollution. Citizens are putting their faith that new power plant rules will result in even bigger cuts.
The European Union
Latvia, the incumbent president of the Council of European Union, pledged to decrease domestic greenhouse gas emission by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Gabon is the sole African country and one of the two developing nations to submit its proposal to the United Nations. Gabon committed a 50 percent reduction in the emission of nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon by 2025.
Mexico is the other developing nation that submitted a proposal. It promised to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by at least 22 percent and black carbon by 51 percent. It targets to reduce overall emission of 25% by 2030.
Russia pledged to control anthropogenic greenhouse gases to 70 to 75 percent of 1990 levels. It further boosted the global importance of its boreal forests.
The issue of climate change is not an issue that must be taken lightly by any nation. It is a global issue that needs global cooperation and participation.
They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step. It is hoped that with these simple steps, the journey towards a better world will continue as each country does its part to mitigate climate change.