Al Gore’s Climate Reality project invited people representing more than 30 countries to a conference in Colorado to advance projects addressing climate change. Marina Djernaes, the director for EcoPeace’s Center for Water Security represented EcoPeace and our 23 years of best practices experience in practical implementation of environmental peacebuilding. The center engages across the globe and climate change elevates the challenges everywhere. Climate Reality delivered more knowledge in regards to the magnitude of the challenge and provided a network of people engaged in environmental work across the globe.
The magnitude of the climate change challenges that we face is colossal. Extreme temperature events used to cover only 0.1% of the Earth now they cover 14.5%. The scale and the consequences experienced in this world caused by these extreme weather events are enormous. We are facing major challenges across the world, but not the least in the already hot climates such as in the Middle East and Africa. Pollutants not only deliver a hotter climate with the accompanying increased frequency of extreme weather events providing increasingly challenges for water security as dry areas become dryer and as precipitation in other areas and with increasing frequency may arrive as torrential rainstorms. Climate change will also spread physical and mental diseases, diminish nutrition in produce, and deliver increased infestation by pests. Without actions and commitment to the Paris Agreement, it is a dire future.
It can be a dire future, but a vibrant and advancing green economy delivers a strong beacon of optimism. Green renewable energy has achieved cost effectiveness competitive to fossil fuels. This year green energy capacity will grow 77 times faster than forecasted for 2010. Renewable energy provided an estimated 19.2% of global energy consumption in 2014, with an estimated additional 147 gigawatts of renewable power in 2015. In 2016, more than 70% of the new electrical generation in the USA was renewable.
EcoPeace’s experience with Good Water Neighbors provides a perfect model to advance citizen engagement and seek local solutions to mitigate climate change effects and advance water security. Efforts on to advance water security will also help communities to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Al Gore urged local communities to engage for political support of local climate change measures. The grassroots needs to secure political support to advance cost-effective green energy, and demand reduced support and subsidies for costly fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas. Committed citizens can work together to protect the political pledge in the Paris Agreement.
The event delivered a strong feeling of optimism. The necessary technologies exist and when combined with citizen’s engagement it is possible to contain the effects of climate change to 2 ͦC.. EcoPeace has the ideal experience to advance work in water security and thereby secure local communities capacity to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Our Center for Water Security with our experts can facilitate the advancement of local Good Water Neighbors programs in communities globally and develop the necessary capacity to advance local solutions for water security and diminish the effects of climate change.