A Fine Line Between Action and Rhetoric on Climate Change

September 25, 2014 11:05 AM

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A Fine Line Between Action and Rhetoric on Climate Change

These past few days have seen a flurry of rallies, meetings, confabs and big-ticket speeches to coincide with the United Nations’ climate summit. In New York, 300,000 marched for action. Political leaders from around the world have called for action. And cities are taking action: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that his city would decrease its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. New York joins a cavalcade of other cities that have taken the same pledge, including Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago and Minneapolis.

The “80 percent” pledge is, by most measures, the most concrete and far-reaching attempt that U.S. cities have ever made to address the problem of climate change — it is truly a meaningful effort. In New York alone, the venture will reduce the city’s emissions by 3.4 million metric tons per year by ...

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