Friday was a big day. November 4th was the day when the historic Paris Agreement officially went into effect. If you remember, late last year, leaders from around the world gathered in Paris and created what became the world’s first real global accord on climate change. Together, they all acknowledged that climate change is a real threat and made pledges to reduce their individual country’s carbon emissions. While the accord itself is not enough to completely save us from the effects of climate change, it is an important step in the right direction.
What does that mean for us here in Austin?
Austin was very involved in last year’s climate discussions in Paris. We sent a large delegation of nonprofits, faith leaders, and elected officials (including Mayor Steve Adler) to France to make sure that Austin would continue to be a leader in the fight against climate change. Nearly a year later, Austin continues that effort.
Here are just a few things that we’ve done:
- Last week a group of about 20 climate leaders in Austin came together to brainstorm and begin working on a real plan to accelerate the pace of emissions reduction in Austin and throughout the country.
- Mayor Steve Adler declared this week as Rainforest Protection Week, in honor of the local nonprofit organization Rainforest Partnership, which has long been a leader in climate activism through the protection of the world’s rainforests.
- And as always, Austin continues to work on its own climate goal to virtually eliminate all of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, at the latest.
The Paris Agreement isn’t enough to save the world from climate change. That will take additional action, most likely driven by people here at the local level. This sentiment is well summed up in an open letter published earlier this week by the Compact of Mayors (of which Austin is a part) –
“This fight will be won by the actions global cities, like ours, are already taking. It is with the same sense of urgency that international leaders adopted the Paris Agreement that local leaders on the ground are working to enforce it. And our work can only be strengthened.” More info>>