World Resources Institute climate experts Ranping Song and Cynthia Elliott explore the progress that governments, cities, and businesses have delivered on reducing emissions since last December’s Paris agreement.
Last December, 196 countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, creating the first universal pact to put the world on a path towards a zero-carbon, resilient future.
Since then, some concrete steps have been made while examples of substantial progress that took place in 2015 is just now coming to light. Countries, regions, cities and businesses are taking action to move the world in the right direction toward a low-carbon, climate resilient future.
With global leaders gathering in New York on April 22 to sign the Paris Agreement, now is a good time to reflect on the changing landscape of the global response to climate change.
Encouraging worldwide signs
Global investment in renewable energy hit a record high of $286 billion last year, more than double the amount committed to fossil fuel power plants. Significantly, more than half the investment in renewables took place in developing countries, which are projected to account for the majority of energy consumption growth for decades to come.
Analysis from the International Energy Agency indicates that, for a second year in a row, global energy-related carbon emissions stalled while the economy continued to expand, confirming the decoupling of global emissions from economic growth. In the last 15 years, 21 countries have reduced annual GHG emissions while growing their economies.
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