As UN Climate Summit is still going on in New York City this week – this time, for the first time in modern history, with nearly 500,000 New Yorkers participating in a mass rally while ‘unofficially occupying Wall Street’ – world leaders continue discussing strategies and methods to reduce carbon emissions in each of their respective countries. Some still have conflicting agenda with others, politics as usual – but uneager to repeat the previous deadlocks in past summits, like those in Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro, more countries are considering this issue more seriously than ever. United States, as the world’s current superpower, has taken its own initiatives, thanks to President Obama’s visions of ‘a greener America’, despite previous setbacks due to prevailing bipartisan conflicts in regard to this issue. Now, China and India, two of the world’s largest polluters, have also taken their own lead, albeit their leaders are not attending the summit this year. But, most importantly, it is not simply industrialized countries that take the action to solve this problem (Japan exempted), but also SIDS (small island developing states), which are classified ‘the most severely vulnerable’ group to any rise of sea levels, and also several Third World countries, including Ethiopia and a few African countries. The summit will still remain imperfect, each country presenting its own agenda, but this time, with more nation-states of all levels participating in this intense race to reverse the global warming trend, we must appreciate that there is progress, and there is hope, to salvage this planet for the sake of our future generations to come.
Here are just some examples:
1. Ethiopia: the President pledges a zero net emission by 2025.
2. Iceland: the country pledges to be completely carbon-free by 2050 (now the planet is investing huge amount of money in geothermal power and hydroelectric dams)
3. Tuvalu: the entire 10,000-people-strong country’s electricity sources will be 100% clean by 2020
4. Palau: supporting World Bank’s initiative to place ‘price tag’ on each ton of CO2 produced
5. Georgia: has ambition to become a major ‘hydropower giant’, and is working towards a carbon-free economy by 2050
6. Brunei: the country pledges to reduce energy consumption by nearly two-thirds by 2035
7. India: will double the capacity of solar and wind energy by 2020
8. China: is now on progress reducing 45% of its carbon emissions in 2005 level by 2020
9. United States: President Obama pledges more aggressive funding and support to clean technologies for developing countries worldwide
10. Indonesia: is now on track reducing 26% of its carbon emissions by 2020
Nonetheless, pledges will just remain pledges as long as we, the global citizens, do not monitor the efforts made by those governments in making sure those plans succeed. Thanks to both Google and UN Climate Summit organizers, for the first time ever, all these countries’ pledges are already posted on a special section on Google Maps Engine. To track out for more updates, click the link below:
Let’s support this global initiative to leave a friendly planet for our future generations to come.