The Ultimate Missed Opportunity

We have meagre chances of limiting global warming to 2 degrees under the non-binding Paris agreement, and even that scenario is set to bring long-term disaster. 30 years ago we had a chance to solve the problem, and didn’t take it.

From 1979-1989, we were the closest we’ve ever come to a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions.

The science was long since settled. Data piling up since 1957 confirmed burning fossil fuels’ toll on the Earth. Scientists and world leaders rallied round, looking to mitigate the looming disaster and agreed: “Action had to be taken, and the United States would need to lead. It didn’t,” writes Nathaniel Rich in this must-read series.

The New York Times


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