Why 2016 May Be the Best Year Yet for Climate Action
In recent weeks, we’ve highlighted the many achievements and breakthroughs that made 2015 such a monumental year for the climate movement. Now, it’s time to look forward to 2016 – and as the Environmental Defense Fund’s Fred Krupp points out here, we may see progress advance even more rapidly in the coming months.
2015 was largely about reframing and reinforcing the reasons why urgent climate action is necessary. 2016 is about the how – and fortunately, many of the necessary systems are already in place.
The Paris climate accord was the “starting gun,” providing a set of clear goals we need to reach and a framework through which to do it. This agreement sent a message to global markets that clean energy is the way forward. The private sector (whose buy-in is key) has voiced their strong support of the Paris agreement and pledged to “ensure a just transition to a low-carbon U.S. economy.” Clean energy investments continue to rise in developing as well as developed nations. And new, market-based conservation strategies have shown the economic co-benefits of protecting natural resources.
But as the author points out, pledges and ambitions aren’t enough. “We need to hold our public officials, our business leaders, and ourselves accountable” in order to truly accelerate progress. As we charge forward from the starting line into the new year, let’s work together to ensure all these important goals and promises come to fruition.
By Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund
2015 was a breakthrough year for our environment – one of the most important in decades.
The nations of the world agreed to a climate deal that finally gives us a chance to turn the corner toward safety. America put in place the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from its largest source, power plants. And the Senate passed sweeping bipartisan legislation that promises to fix our chemical safety system, which has been broken for 40 years.
At Environmental Defense Fund, we’re proud to have played key roles in all of these breakthroughs.
Still, even with all that we accomplished, I expect 2016 to top the year now coming to an end.
The twin drivers of progress in the next 12 months will be ambition and accountability – two mutually dependent qualities the environmental movement must have to thrive.