The Europeans Take the Lead

The Europeans have, once again, proven that they are willing to lead the world on sustainability.  I wrote in February how the European Union was embarking on a bold new initiative to advance their already ambitious “20/20/20” program.  Well the Europeans have, after months of hearings, further study, negotiations, and the inevitable political give and take necessitated by the fact that they are 28 sovereign nations working together in a complex union, unprecedented in its scope, come up with a living, breathing, working plan.  The goal?  Nothing less than a 40% reduction of their greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2030. Continue reading


Print pagePDF page

Inaction = Catastrophe

withering corn AR5 WGIIUS Secretary of State John Kerry is a man with things on his mind:  Putin’s bad attitude, genocide in Syria, a ticking clock for a Palestinian and Israeli peace deal.  Yet with all this, he knows that the climate system needs to be at the top or near the top of his priority list.  His reaction to the new report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability from the IPCC is clear:  “The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”  His statement yesterday reminds us that we are on very thin ice and we can hear it starting to crack. Continue reading


Print pagePDF page

The EU Takes the Next Step

2030_320x266The Europeans are on the move.  Building on the successes of their existing “20/20/20” plan, they are moving onward and upward.  The old plan called for a 20% reduction of greenhouse gases economy-wide in the EU from 1990 levels by the year 2020.  They are far advanced on this track.  According to the EU here:  “While EU GDP grew by 45% between 1990 and 2011, total greenhouse gas emissions from today’s 28 Member States – including emissions from international aviation, which are covered by the EU’s unilateral commitment – were 16.9% below the 1990 level in 2011 and an estimated 18% below 1990 in 2012. Member states’ latest projections show that total emissions in 2020, including international aviation, will be 21% below the 1990 level.” Continue reading


Print pagePDF page