This study’s findings fall in line with what many climate experts have been saying for some time – the Paris agreement in its current form is not good enough to prevent dangerous levels of climate change. One review concluded that if all signatories ratified the deal and strictly enforced their targets, the most likely scenario is that global temperatures will actually rise by 2.6°C to 3.1°C (4.7°F to 5.6°F) by 2100.
Still, the world is definitely heading in the right direction. Clean renewable energy use is up, from the US to Costa Rica to Indonesia to China. Nuclear power, which has a very low carbon footprint, is making a bit of a silent comeback in some nations. Also, the fact that China and the US are working together sends out a hugely important signal to the rest of the world.
For what it’s worth, the team of this particular study are optimistic that the US will work hard to meet its 2025 targets. “I think it's going to be a variety of smallish efforts to get there,” Greenblatt added. In short, it can be done, but this depends entirely on the outcome of the US presidential election.
It’s clear that the country faces a stark choice come early November. If Hillary Clinton is elected, she will carry on the work of the Obama administration, protecting the environment and upholding America’s commitment to the Paris agreement. If Trump takes the Oval Office, he will veto the agreement, leaving any hope of stopping the climate from rapidly warming dead in the (rising) waters.
Don't let this man wreck the world's environment. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock