On the 12 December 2015, in Paris, 195 nations of the world agreed to combat climate change, by unleashing actions and investment to create a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future for the world (http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/meeting/8926.php). The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Indeed, led by the strongest Canadian delegation in years, nations committed to efforts to limit temperature changes to 1.5 degrees above levels experienced during the pre-industrial times. While the climate is already changing, and will continue to change, the Paris Agreement recognizes that if we continued to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at current levels, the world could warm in ways that would wreak economic and social havoc. Moving on from the heightened atmosphere of Paris, Canadians now have to unpack that agreement and figure out how we are going to accomplish the goals we set at home and abroad.
It’s a two-edged sword these days. We must reduce our emissions, by cutting energy use, changing consumption patterns and employing a combination of existing and emerging technologies. And we need to adapt to the changes that are already upon us, the ones we know are coming and the ones we can only anticipate. Lots to do. The good news for me is that for the first time since 1987, sustainability seems to be a shared goal, integral to environments and to societies.