The Paris climate agreement marked a historic moment in history, sending a clear message to businesses, investors and governments that the transition to a clean energy economy is underway. Last year in the United States, for example, the vast majority of all new electricity generated came from solar and wind.
Without a doubt there is still a long way to go, yet things are moving forward. On the national and international stage commitments have been made to limit emissions, but even on local, regional, and state government levels progress is being made. Just last week, four major cities pledged to ban all diesel cars, while California is working with Ontario, Quebec, and other states to link their cap and trade systems.
Yet, Gore tells IFLScience, this action would never have been achieved if it were not for members of the public.
“We cannot take this progress for granted,” he said. “I want to be clear: though milestones [like] the Paris Agreement happened at the national and international scale, it was the passionate activists, advocates and community leaders calling for change that made the difference. It is because of individuals that we have made this progress.”
Even though much of the debate may be centered around the perception that many still don’t believe climate change is real, Gore says that “the majority” of Americans do understand it is happening. The push now should be to equip people with the tools necessary to make the difference, and effectively communicate the solutions.
“The truth is that climate change does still pose a threat to our future civilization, but we already have all the tools we need to solve it,” said Gore. “And I believe that we will rise to this challenge.”
Governments are listening, and are taking action. Campaigners now need to keep the pressure on. andyparker72/Shutterstock