FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Sustainable Hiker - Beyond the Trail Series

State of the Planet

“The G20 members... are now spending 50 per cent more on sectors linked to fossil fuel production and consumption, than on low-carbon energy.” That's according to the December 2020 Climate Action team at the UN. They explored G20 rescue packages in the depths of the Covid pandemic. The team concluded it was the time to act boldly, but in a constructive way that would heal the planet productively.

I'm encouraged, more than 124 countries have committed to become climate neutral by 2050. The European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea are included. I expect the EU will reduce its emissions to at least 55 percent below1990 levels by 2030.

Commitments are nothing unless they hold themselves accountable and massive action is taken. It is a big ask, given the technology and capital that is needed across many industries and the global interconnectivity of trade and supply chains.

The UN's Climate Action Report has lofty asks of the international community. “We need to align all public and private financial flows behind the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.” In addition, in the UN Climate Action team asks, “all asset owners and managers to decarbonize their portfolios and to join key initiatives and partnerships launched by the United Nations. These include the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance and the Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance, today with $5.1 trillion dollars of assets.”

Pricing carbon is also included in these monumental asks and is something being promoted by Citizens’ Climate Lobby and worked on by members of our own Congressional Delegation. They are working to have it be a part of the currently debated reconciliation bill.

Interestingly, 75% of Republicans under the age of 40 support a price on carbon. This is telling, though the deal making on this will be in the halls of Congress, where the average age for both party representatives is considerably older.

Look for my year end December publication that will highlight what to look for and support in 2022.

Tom Koehler

Sustainable Hiker

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