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Paris Climate Agreement Might Not Be Enough, Unless…

To strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, COP 21 gave birth to the Paris Agreement, which calls for nations to keep global average temperatures under 1.5 degrees. However, signs point out that more than this agreement is needed. Recent research published in Science Magazine about global glacier change in the 21st century shows that the scale and impacts of glacial loss are larger than previously expected. This urges both private and public organizations to revise their goals and accelerate their actions.


Even if humanity achieves the goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement, 49% of the planet's glaciers would have disappeared by 2100 under the most optimistic scenario of 1.5C warming. If so, there would be almost no glaciers left in central Europe, western Canada, and the US by the end of the next century. Moreover, it will raise sea levels, threaten the water supply to up to 2 billion people, and increase the risk of floods. The loss of glaciers will eventually affect the living of every sector and individual.


There is a likelihood that the Paris agreement target does not apply to the current circumstances, so additional commitments and measures are required to change the anticipated impact. For the private sector, every organization has to make the transition to sustainability occur to fasten the action in reducing global warming. For example, the furniture company IKEA published its goals for 2030 to use 100% renewable or recyclable materials and has set a goal to be powered by 100% clean energy. The company aims to inspire 1 billion people to live healthier, sustainable lives by prolonging the life of its products, promoting circular solutions, and helping customers repair, reuse and recycle old furnitures.

Apart from that, the public sector should be the enabler that supports all these transitions. The Singaporean government has accelerated its action in reducing emissions from 65 million to around 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2030. This goal provides three fundamental principles: an integrated approach, investments in R&D, and partnerships to change businesses and individuals' behavior.

Despite the report's more challenging obstacle, it is still possible to establish and find a means to commit to the new sustainability goal. To have a positive impact on the environment and people's quality of life in the future, public-private cooperation is essential in establishing more pledges and accelerating the process.

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