, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington, DC
“All years are important, but decisions made in 2014 will have a striking impact for decades to come.” –Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute
While celebrating New Year’s Eve in 2009, as the clock ticked down to a new decade I felt a tinge of apprehension. The Copenhagen climate talks had just failed, yet the evidence was mounting that climate change was becoming more and more threatening. As the clock struck midnight and 2009 turned into 2010, I sensed that this was the critical decade. The next ten years, from 2010 to 2020, would largely define the state of the world for rest of the century. Scientists have repeatedly warned that unless we peak total global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, we won't be able to stabilize the climate below 2 degrees C of warming. Can we peak global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020? Can we figure out a viable global agreement to collectively act on climate? Can the US enact meaningful climate policy? All of these questions loomed large for me in 2009 as I thought about the years ahead.
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