The topic of climate change has been scientifically acknowledged as being real, through the use of statistical analysis. The major causes for the Earth's rising temperature levels are carbon emissions and deforestation; the former being more directly linked with climate change.
While the science behind climate change and global warming can be talked about in details for hours on end, something that is often glossed over is the different initiatives being taken to combat it.
There are multiple agreements, initiatives and projects underway, aimed at reducing the rate at which temperatures rise. Some of the biggest ones are listed below.
THE PARIS AGREEMENT
The Paris Agreement, sometimes known as the Paris Accord, is an agreement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement was initially signed on April 22, 2016, and since then a total of 194 states have signed the Agreement. The overall intent of the Agreement is to try and ensure that global average temperatures do not increase by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is done by reducing the carbon footprint of each individual country that is part of the Agreement. Additionally, each country sets its own goals to reduce carbon emissions, and attempts to achieve them within a period of time also decided on by them. The more developed countries have the responsibility of financing climate change research and development of alternatives to traditional energy sources.
THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
Similar to the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol is an agreement formed with the UNFCCC. It was signed in Kyoto, Japan on December 11, 1997. There are a total of 192 parties involved in the Kyoto Protocol, with the main goal of the agreement being to control emissions of greenhouse gasses to stabilise the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Unlike the Paris Agreement, however, the Kyoto Protocol is legally binding; meaning that member countries that have signed the Protocol must abide by the conditions set for them, otherwise they shall face legal repercussions. Additionally, all member countries must also strictly maintain records of yearly carbon emission data for the purpose of transparency.
SAARC ACTION PLAN ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The SAARC Action Plan was brought into fruition during 2007, when growing concern for climate change was brought to attention during the 14th SAARC Summit. The Plan was finally signed in 2008, in a meeting that took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rising water levels caused by climate change is going to affect South Asian countries sooner than others due to their geographical position. The Action Plan consists of protocols to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of all the member countries.
THE SOLUTIONS PROJECT
While it is important for us to be aware of international and regional agreements combatting climate change, there are also individual projects, like The Solutions Project, that are taking strides in their efforts to combat climate change. Initially formed by actor Mark Ruffalo and director Josh Fox, the goal of the Solutions Project is to research more renewable sources of energy. Currently the Solutions project has many models set up to show how, even at present, most of the world's energy needs can be met without the burning of fossil fuels. The Solutions Project is currently expanding globally and is operating in 12 countries at present.