Posted Dec. 16, 2015
Interview with David Pomerantz, senior climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace USA, conducted by Scott Harris
While U.S. President Obama and other world leaders hailed the agreement hammered out between 195 countries at the United Nations Paris climate summit as a success and a turning point, many climate activists – while acknowledging areas of progress, took a more critical view.
Pledges from 186 of the 195 nations participating in the summit to reduce the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions to limit a rise in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, but pursue a limit of 1.5 degrees, is commendable. But according to various research groups even if every nation honored their announced carbon emissions reduction targets, the world would still be headed toward a 3.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature by the end of the century. That increase, scientists predict, can lead to crop failures, food shortages and widespread plant and animal life extinctions.
The Paris climate agreement is not legally binding, in large part because the Republican party, which controls the U.S. Congress, would never have approved this global treaty. But other provisions in the deal call for mandatory five-year reviews of greenhouse gas reduction pledges from each country with transparency in the efforts made to reach national carbon emission goals. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with David Pomerantz, a senior climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace USA, who assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the climate agreement and the hard work ahead for climate activists across the globe.
- Interview conducted by Scott Harris, Counterpoint, Dec. 14, 2015 (26:55)
- “Kumi Naidoo reacts to conclusion of COP21,” Greenpeace International, Dec. 12, 2015
- “Falling Short on Climate in Paris,” New York Times, Dec. 13, 2015
- “After Paris: The Climate Talks End and the Movement Continues,” Huffington Post, Dec. 12, 2015
- “The Paris Climate Pact Will Need Strong Follow-Up,” New York Times, Dec. 14, 2015
- “The Paris Climate Agreement,” Threefifty.org, Dec. 12, 2015
- “Paris climate change agreement: the world’s greatest diplomatic success,” The Guardian, Dec. 13, 2015
- “With landmark climate accord, world marks turn from fossil fuels,” Reuters, Dec. 13, 2015