The Paris Climate agreement aim is to create a global agreement on reducing pollution emissions and slow down the trend in global temperatures. The governments of the countries who signed up to the agreement committed themselves to keeping the increase of global temperatures to less than 2% – and hopefully to less than 1.5% increase. Not exactly a radical proposal in my view but it is significant as it would have a big impact on pollution and world energy levels. It is proposed that these limits will be enforced by making polluters pay a climate tax. Put simply – the more they pollute the more tax the pay. This should encourage countries to look for renewable sources of energy and away from heavy emission power stations reliant on non-renewables like coal and oil.
All of us working in HE and Learning technology need to be concerned with Trumps proposal to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. After China the United States is the biggest polluter and contributer to global emissions. Working with technology it might seem that we work in a carbon-neutral environment when we are on our university campuses but this is not the case. The energy to power our virtual learning environments, gadgets, smartphones, laptops and pc’s are all generated somewhere! We need to do whatever we can to intervene in what is essentially a political argument about global warming. It is Trump and his followers who are propagating the argument that it is these solutions to global warming that are causing job losses in the US. Sometimes we need to look beyond the immediacy of our own clustered environments and do something ‘political’ to change the world. These can be big a small things – send a Tweet, write a blog post, go on a protest, organise a meeting on campus – things can be done to create a better world!!!