COP21: US Environmental Groups Stand to Benefit from International Commitments

This past week, leaders from across the globe convened in Paris at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to discuss issues critical to the future of our planet. While issues such as reducing emissions and supporting clean energy technology research may seem out of reach, these are intrinsically connected to the very issues Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation and its grantees support.

The primary goal of the summit is a global agreement on limiting emissions which would thwart the effects of climate change and global warming. With the United States and China, two of the world’s largest carbon polluters, now in lockstep on a pledge to enact emissions reductions policies, this goal seems more feasible than ever before.

In addition to the remarkable emissions goal, the presidents of the United States and France announced “Mission Innovation” – a commitment from 20 countries to double their clean energy research and development investment over five years. Together, these 20 nations represent 75 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions from electricity, and more than 80 percent of the world’s clean energy research and development investment.

Here in North America, the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign stands to benefit from these substantial commitments, and Oceana’s efforts to stop offshore drilling could experience an additional tailwind. MCF is proud to support both of these important initiatives as they successfully educate and mobilize communities, affect policy, and produce
tangible results – all for the demand of a clean energy future.

Waterkeepers from around the world, who are among the first to see the severe and often devastating effects of climate change on their waterways and in the communities, are in place to demand action and influence the legally binding universal agreement on climate. 121 Waterkeepers from over 20 countries have submitted specific calls to action to their government leaders in preparation for these weeks. Read their full list of demands, as well as the most pressing threats to their watersheds.

At last week’s end, food figured high on the agenda, with three important announcement: the release of a new tool to chart food insecurity; the launch of 4/100 was launched, an initiative to help keep carbon in soil through better farming techniques; and, in particular interest to MCF, the announcement a new food waste forum was to encourage G20 countries, private sector and NGOs to fight food waste together. This relates to a major Waterkeeper priority: fighting the environmental destruction and injustice of industrial farming or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) through their Pure Farms, Pure Waters campaign.

The talks continue tomorrow. If last week is any meter, we can look forward to more announcements and, if the force be with us, some binding agreements. We encourage all organizations and individuals to pay attention to the conversations, and join us in the fight against global warming, whether it’s through supporting our grantees or simply being an advocate in your own sphere.





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