The Science of the Paris Agreement and Future Climate Impacts

Sunday, February 19, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 304 (Hynes Convention Center)
Jessica Hellmann, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
For the purposes of enriching discussion about religiously-based perspectives on greenhouse gas emission reduction, this presentation will review the targets and mechanisms of the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, reached in 2015. It also will report and discuss differential contributions, by country, to greenhouse gas emissions of climate change in comparison to the geographic distribution of climate-related risks to agriculture, human settlements, and biodiversity. This differential burden is a key political and technical aspect of the Paris Agreement, and it underlies many arguments about the moral responsibility of wealthy countries to take action on climate change. Finally, the presentation will explore differential preparedness of countries and economies to climate change using global indicators of differential readiness to adapt to climate change. Where it is possible to adjust people and places to reduce the impacts of climate change, adaption will require new financial and intellectual resources. Religious communities can contribute resources, help to garner resources, and help see resources directed to the neediest places where investments can do considerable good.