Paris Climate Change Conference
Paris has had a lot going on lately with terrorist attacks at concerts and climate change conferences. The COP21 is the official name of the Paris Climate Conference 2015 and is held in Le Bourget, France (near Paris) from November 30 to December 11.
The majority of Americans say that the United States should join an international treaty to limit global warming consequences. Two-thirds of americans support an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
More and more Americans are becoming aware of the effects of climate change. 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are due to human activity with greenhouse gas emissions as the primary reason.
Americans have had difficulty coming to terms with scientific findings because of the political stances their political parties have taken. When surveyed however, the majority (regardless of political party) was strongly opposed to increasing taxes on electricity and gasoline as a means of fighting global warming.
Obama’s Climate Change Plan
The United States has the largest budget in the world for researching clean energy technology. As part of a public sector program, Mission Innovation, the budget would increase from $5 billion per year to $10 billion per year by 2020. This increase in spending will help increase new clean energy technologies and provide solutions more quickly.
Mission Innovation represents another 20 countries including Denmark, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia and South Korea.
The Mission Innovation group is providing companies with he funding they need in order to research new methods of producing energy while also funding new projects that couldn’t otherwise develop technologies because of the long return on investment timeframe.
Bill Gates Heads Up Private Investment
A group of 28 high-profile investors are being led by Bill Gates to to provide support for early-stage clean technology projects in the private sector. Gates had already committed to spending $1 billion of his own funds on clean energy research over the next 5 years.
This group is know as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and is being backed by Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, John Doerr, Mark Benioff, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jack Ma of Alibaba and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn.
Together, they hope to speed along new technologies with promise to reduce greenhouse gases. Flow batteries and solar paint are examples of early-stage startups and the kind of projects that require such funding due to the long time to receive a return on investment.
A multi-trillion dollar market is expected to develop from the emission cuts being discussed in Paris alongside these other developments. This would not only help in a time of recession but also provide the means to stabilising the worldwide climate changes.
So far $65 billion per year has been pledged from the various countries with a 5 year timeline. Both of these initiatives were announced at the Paris conference and will add momentum to the idea of a treaty with the US to reduce greenhouse gases.