The Paris Climate Conference is winding down. What happens next will depend on how the decisions agreed upon there are applied here at home. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment,' David Fair talks with Environmental Organizer Ethan Wampler about moving Michigan, and the nation, to 100-percent renewable energy by 2050.
* The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference is ongoing through December 11, with the objective of achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. The overarching outcome of the agreements is forecasted result in possible warming of about 2.7-3.5C by the end of the century, much higher than what leading scientists (and local activists) see as safe. (Unchecked warming could result in as much as 5C.)
* Two Michigan groups--Ann Arbor 350 (part of 350.org) and a new coalition of Michigan groups, the Michigan Climate Action Network (MICAN)--will hold a march in Ann Arbor on December 12th, and both groups feel that for the Paris conference will not go nearly far enough in changing climate policy at the local level, and they support policies in line with a goal of 2C or less of global warming by 2050.
* The 2C goal faces criticism from poor countries who say it is not enough of a reduction (particularly islands that may be underwater), and some activists who say rich countries (who bear responsibility for the lionshare of the carbon emissions) must agree to a “carbon budget” for any meaningful reduction to be feasible. there are over 100-countries pushing for a 1.5C target at the summit. Paris does not meet either agenda.
* Ethan Wampler, Environmental Organizer for 350.org, is active in both MICAN and Ann Arbor 350, and he has been organizing the Climate March. Both groups aim for Michigan to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050, a goal which will certainly outpace the goals set at the conference.