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Energy, Environment, STEM

Earth Day 2016 Will Include Historic Signing of Paris Agreement

View of Cuba from the International Space Station, Source: NASA, 2013

View of Cuba from the International Space Station, Source: NASA, 2013

Friday, April 22, 2016, will mark the 46th observance of Earth Day. As usual, there are tons of environmental and earth awareness events planned around the globe, however, none will eclipse the signing of the Paris Agreement by the United States and China.

President Obama and President Xi Jinping announced earlier that they will both sign the Paris Agreement on Earth Day. Each has pledged that their country will formally join the agreement as soon as possible this year.

According to the White House, over the past three years, climate change efforts have become a pillar of the U.S. – China bilateral relationship. Both countries efforts together and at home to build green, low-carbon and climate-resilient economies have helped galvanize global actions – culminating this past December in the historic, ambitious Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement establishes a long-term, worldwide framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, will commence once 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of global emissions formally commit to undertaking the low carbon measures it outlines. Seen as an ambitious plan by some, the United States and China have brought us within reach of its execution.

As the world’s two largest polluters, the United States and China account for 40% of global emissions. With their joint commitment to the Paris Agreement, the threshold for implementation is well within reach.

You don’t need to be a member of a political party to take part in Earth Day activities. Individuals, friends and families, organizations, and even corporations are planning events.

Let’s build on the momentum of the Paris agreement and:

  • Plant a tree(s).
  • Reduce our usage of fossil fuels.
  • Invest in renewable energy.

Mother Earth is one of our most precious resources. There isn’t a spare one spinning around somewhere out there in the cosmos. Protecting her is not something that we do on just one single day each year. It’s big and little steps by all of us each day that will have the biggest impact.

 

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About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.

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