The US Federal Goverment’s Response to Climate Change

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Burt Jaffe

The continued and increasing use of fossil fuels that is triggering climate change raises serious issues of global justice. In 1973 the oil embargo triggered a response in certain countries, but the U.S. response was minimal. The UN Kyoto accord, signed in 1997, entered into force in 2005, and started in 2008, but the US failed to sign it in spite of the fact that it has been the largest emitter of CO2 for 50 years. The U.S. failed to take a lead in reducing CO2 which contributed to climate change globally.

Climate change marches on, and now poorer people and poorer countries are suffering. Consider the people of small islands, like Mauritius, where people are preparing to leave due to sea level rise. Consider China with air pollution due to coal power plants. Consider the future devastating effect on Bangladesh people living in the delta due to sea level rise. Consider the huge hurricane that devastated the Philippines. What did other countries do to respond to climate change? Is the US now doing anything to respond to climate change, and, if so, how are we doing it?