Climate Change Legislation in Europe Moves Closer, and Like No Other Nation, Austria Brings the Guard Down
The global community is steadily moving to meet its goals to limit global warming. A major contribution to this goal came from a global climate change treaty, the Paris Agreement. As of November 2018, the Paris Agreement requires a percentage of global emissions to come from countries like Austria who have signed the agreement. This is a milestone that has never been reached before.
This means Austria will be charged with accounting for at least 5 percent of emissions at the first challenge. The country is the first in Europe to move forward with this mandate.
The Austrian National Climate Change Center stated, “A study carried out by the Center concluded that this percentage will be ensured by imports of renewable energy.” When you consider that Austria imports 90 percent of its electricity from Europe, that is a big deal. Austria buys roughly 37 percent of its power from France, 32 percent from Germany, and 21 percent from Italy. Furthermore, the report detailed that Austria was switching to more bioenergy in order to meet the 5 percent requirement. Therefore, they would be putting its faith in the renewable energy supply.
This recent decision by Austria is incredibly important. According to a press release by the center, while countries like the United States and China have been delaying the timetables for reducing emissions, any delays will hurt poorer nations the most. There is a “tendency by countries like China and the United States to underfund climate mitigation and adaptation efforts for developing countries.”
This change in policy can be seen as a sign of openness to taking action on climate change.
There are thousands of lives at stake.
There have been bills passed in the U.S. recently that would put the fate of the Paris Agreement and America’s commitment to that agreement in question. This is a huge concern in Austria and throughout Europe.
Conceivably, these coal-reliant countries like Austria can be somewhat immune to the trend of climate change. The cost of renewable energy sources has decreased dramatically in the last few years. Moreover, the continued growth of this industry will curb the significant emissions that power plants release.
There will be consequences for those in Austria who are opposed to climate change. Their air quality would suffer and they will be less safe. The average person can make the decision to power their homes with renewable energy. This will lessen their carbon footprint and pollution while saving the planet.
Climate change is a global concern. It is common sense that Austria would be moving in a positive direction on this matter. The cost of climate change and doing nothing is beyond expensive. America’s leadership can help the nations like Austria lead the charge and get us over this threshold.
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Climate mitigation has the potential to better every aspect of our lives. Protecting and preserving the environment is not a matter of left or right, it is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is a moral issue.
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