The Earths temperature is increasing at a dangerous rate. The oceans are rising and warming, the ice sheets are shrinking, and there have been extreme weather events because of this. This increase in temperature is caused by the process of greenhouse gases in the Earths atmosphere warming the Earth,and is called climate change. This process was negatively affected and sped up by human activities. If it is not improved soon, costs and damages will increase soon. We need to find ways to slow this process, and to do that, we can follow the lead of some countries in the EU.
The United States needs more laws and regulations put in place to stop or slow down effects ofclimate change. Human activities are what sped up the climate change process. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95% probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid 20thcentury. (“NASA Global Climate Change”).
In its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world under the United Nations, concluded there’s a more than 95 percent probability that human activities over the past 50 years have warmed our planet (“NASA Global Climate Change”). In addition to this, most scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the greenhouse effect. (“The US Greenhouse GasReduction Targets”). The Greenhouse effect is the warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from earth toward space.
Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than a third since the industrial revolution began. This is the “Most important long lived forcing of climate change” (“NASA Global Climate Change”). Humans have hurt the Earths Climate and if they continue to at this rate, there will be serious consequences. The human race needs to find ways and slow down the process of climate change. One may say the laws and regulations that are already in use are enough, but they are not. The 44th President Barack Obama has already prepared or implemented significant emissions reduction efforts through executive authority under existing laws which do not require legislative action. However, states will have to develop implementation plans to meet the standards. While the actions are based on existing legal authorities and do not require congressional approval they will probably face court challenges that slow progress, and may take years to successfully go through (“The US Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets”).
According to the WRIs analysis, the United States can meet their targets by using executive authority with congressional action and with emission reduction in power plants, energy efficiency, hydrofluorocarbons and methane (“The US Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets”). Therefore, if laws and actions take place, we can greatly improve the Earths atmosphere. The United States has efficiency and emission standards for cars, trucks, existing appliance efficiency standards and programs but it is not enough to make the difference necessary. The American clean energy and security act allowed a max of 1.
5 billion tons of international offsets to be used annually within the proposed cap and trade program implying targets could be achieved (“The US Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets”). However, the American clean energy and security act did not become US law. It is possible to fix the damage we’ve done or slow the damage happening but strong, clear, laws need to be put in place soon.
Countries in the Europe have set objectives for reducing greenhouse gases that have been successful to prevent and reduce their effects climate change. In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide) in the EU were down 22% compared with the 1990 levels while the United States greenhouse gas emissions had increased 4% (“The US Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets”). The United States accounts for 15 perfect of global annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, making it the worlds second largest emitter. Furthermore, per person the United States also had among the highest emissions at 17 metric tons, more than double the world average of 7 (“EU Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics”). Countries in Europe have found ways to improve, and the Unites States need to follow their ways. The European Environment Agency (EEA) compiles an annual greenhouse gas inventory report on behalf of the EU. The five main emission source sectors include: energy (fuel combustion and transport), industrial processes and product use, agriculture, land use, and waste management (“EU Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics”).
EU leaders have committed to transforming Europe into a highly energy efficient, low carbon economy. It’s committed to cutting emissions by 20% below1990 levels. The EU initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions include: Monitoring implementation of member states emission reduction targets, a target to increase Europe’s energy efficiency by 20% by 2020 by improving the energy efficiency of building and of a wide array of equipment and household appliances, and Binding targets to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars and vans (“EU Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics”). These implementations have decreased The EU’s effect on climate change and the United States should follow in their footsteps.