A More Ambitious Alternative to the Gradualist Paris Agreement Goals

Summer is the time of year when climate change dominates the public conversation, and it came earlier this year than ever before. Hurricanes are battering the Caribbean, and record heat waves—exacerbated by climate change—are scorching Europe and Western North America, with wildfires increasingly encroaching on population centers. This year, over 100,000 more acres have already burned than at the same time last year, though last year’s fire damage was record-breaking as well. Smaller, island nations are in a fight for their very survival.

In this context, global efforts to gradually reduce carbon emissions seem paltry at best. The Paris Agreement on climate change, even if it achieves its goals, aims only to limit the average global temperature rise in this century to below 2 degrees Celsius, while “pursuing efforts” to limit it to 1.5 degrees and aiming for a “leveling off” of continued global greenhouse…

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