By Mary Howard, PISA Program Assistant
In his December 11, 2014 Remarks on Climate Change at COP-20, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted dynamic tensions with the ongoing fight against climate change: successes vs. drawbacks, science vs. politics, long-standing tradition vs. innovative adaptation. Each individual holds responsibility for carbon emissions, impacting national climate change policy, and proactive mitigation. While Kerry warns that the window for effective action is closing quickly, he is “confident we can rise above the debates that have dragged us down. We can find a way to summon the shared resolve that we need to tackle this shared threat. And if we do that, then we will reach an agreement and we will meet this challenge.”
By Aisha Iqbal, PISA Staff Assistant
After declaring climate change “one of the greatest threats facing humanity,” US President Barack Obama announced a joint effort by the United States and the
People’s Republic of China to reduce carbon emissions within both countries. Given their roles as the largest and second-largest carbon polluters in the world, this announcement signified a new precedence for global environmental policy, one in which cooperation is viewed as a powerful tool. According to a New York Times article, a senior official from the Obama administration stated that while “The US and China have often been seen as antagonists,” within the climate debate , the ushering in of the joint program can result in “a new day in which [the two countries] can act much more as partners,” towards developing greener economies.