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How to Reverse Global Warming: 5 Steps Governments Haven Taken Already

By    |   Monday, 09 March 2015 03:29 PM

Countries around the world are looking for ways to reduce global warming, leading to individual and joint efforts to combat its effects.

Perhaps the most well-known initiative is the Kyoto Protocol, in which nearly 200 countries have pledged to lower greenhouse gases emissions to levels borne out of 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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Adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, the treaty entered into force Feb. 16, 2005. "Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities,'" the UNFCCC says on its website.

Here are four other examples of actions taken by individual governments:

1. According to the 2014 Climate Change Performance Index, which ranks countries based on their greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to lower them, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy, European nations are leading the charge. Denmark tops the list, followed by the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Malta, France, Hungary, Ireland, and Iceland. Eight of those countries belong to the European Union, which recently adopted a budget that allocates $243 billion for climate projects.

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2. In November 2014, the U.S. and China agreed to a historic climate change plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades. The United States will slice 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent before 2025, while China will cap carbon emissions and strive to generate 20 percent of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by 2030.

"As the world's two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change," Obama said in a joint news conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

3. Brazil has done its part to fight global warming, as a nationwide effort to reduce tropical deforestation has kept 3.2 billion tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere since 2004, according to a June 2014 report. In addition to a 70 percent decline in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the country has enforced conservation laws, intervened in soy and beef supply chains, and expanded protected areas, among other initiatives.

4. The U.S. has a standing pledge to lower emissions by 17 percent by 2020, but that was based on a since-voted down cap and trade bill. Federal measures have been taken, such as new national fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. Further, some individual states — such as California, which is working to cap greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants — have enacted laws geared toward reducing their emissions in the coming decades.

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Countries around the world are looking for ways to reduce global warming, leading to individual and joint efforts to combat its effects.
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Monday, 09 March 2015 03:29 PM
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