Paris talks yield major climate deal, now the real work begins
After two weeks of negotiations in Paris, on Saturday, more than 190 countries approved a major global agreement to address climate change. It’s a big deal.
Leading up to 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka COP21), the global business community rallied to show a deep commitment to battling climate change. Companies worth billions of collective GDP contribution put their names on the line to influence a positive outcome of COP21 (and avoid a repeat of the failed 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen).
Autodesk stands out for the breadth of our pledges for climate action. Along with the Paris Pledge for Action, which launches this week, we joined the following commitments:
- Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction: aims to shrink the carbon footprint of the built environment.
- Low Carbon USA: pledges emissions reductions and investment in a low-carbon economy.
- American Business Act on Climate Pledge: makes a pact toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.
- We Mean Business: Autodesk committed to 5 out of 7 big pledges, including science-based emissions goals and 100-percent renewable energy.
- RE100: targets 100% renewable energy.
- Ceres Building & Real Estate Climate Declaration: promotes a more energy-efficient, climate friendly built environment.
On the ground at the conference, Warren Karlenzig represented Autodesk Sustainability Solutions at several high-profile events. At the Zero Emissions by 2050 Symposium, he highlighted the new Insight 360 tools for high performance building design and sustainability solutions for S.M.A.R.T. Cities.
But the climate agreement is just a first step. It hasn’t saved the planet, and it definitely hasn’t solved global warming, at least not by itself.
What it does do is set the aspirational goal of limiting warming to less than 2°C and creates transparency mechanisms for nations to verify their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. It encourages countries to amplify their efforts, but it doesn’t force them to.
The real work lies ahead, and it rests in the hands of policymakers, investors, scientists, engineers, and designers. It won’t be easy.
Our Sustainability Solutions team is working hard to create tools that help our customers in the building, infrastructure, and manufacturing industries make better environmental decisions throughout the project life cycle. Check out our website to learn about these solutions, follow us on Twitter to keep in touch, and visit the community blog for team updates and industry insights.
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