In December 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged that the US will help raise $100 billion annually by 2020 in climate change aid. Six years later, industrialized nations reached half of their target to assist developing countries in combating the effects of global warming.
When making the announcement at the UN’s Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Clinton also placed some condition to this commitment. One of them stipulated that fast-growing economies such as China and India must too accept industrial regulations for environmental improvement, open for regular verification by international inspectors.
Clinton stressed the need for international unity in combating the most devastating impacts of climate change, in particular between highly industrialized nations, emphasizing the need for China and India to jump onboard with the plan.
“In the absence of an operational agreement that meets the requirements that I outlined, there will not be that financial agreement, at least from the United States,” Clinton said at the time.
Current US Secretary of State John Kerry has reiterated the nation’s commitment to the plan outlined six years ago and remains optimistic that the international community will reach its target as originally predicted.
“Today, at the halfway mark to 2020, we are well on our way to achieving this $100 billion goal.”
In early September of this year, the US and Switzerland organized a summit attended by officials and representatives from 18 developed countries to discuss international policy on combating the effects of climate change. In a press conference following the meeting, John Kerry also took the opportunity to dismantle arguments used by skeptics and deniers of the claimed impact of global warming.
The Secretary of State reaffirmed that the science “is crystal clear,” with the overwhelming majority of researchers on the matter reaching unanimous consensus that climate change is largely man-made. Kerry further went on to say that the time for debate is long over and called for cooperation beyond political or ideological barriers.
A new UN summit on the issue will be held in Paris later this year, between November 30 and December 11. Former Vice President and long-time activist Al Gore will also be speaking at the gathering. For the past year, Gore has taken upon himself to train several institutions and over 5,000 individuals in spreading awareness on the severe effects of climate change if current trends continue.
Despite all latest developments, many activists still encourage further education on the matter, arguing that change starts at individual level. And the only way to counter-attack the dire consequences looming ominously on the horizon is through common effort and dedication.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia