What is the Paris Agreement?
As I briefly discussed in a previous blog, the Paris Agreement -- the world's first comprehensive climate agreement -- came into force on November 4, 2016 (about 2 weeks before this article was written). 109 heads of sovereign states agreed to the agreement, including China and the United States. The Atlantic did a phenomenal job of summarizing the implications of the Paris Agreement, and I will first briefly summarize their points in order to contextualize the importance of this moment in history. First, the agreement was approved by an unprecedented number of countries in all stages of development, whereas previous climate treaties (like the Kyoto Protocol) were not universally recognized across the USA, China, India, Europe, etc. This speaks to the second note about the agreement: it is not a set of rules and regulations, but rather a mission for global change in order to ensure a sustainable, healthy environment across the globe. The Agreement's primary goals are to: 1) coordinate a limit of global average temperature increase to under 2 degrees Celsius, 2) reduce dependency on fossil fuels/non-renewable energy sources, 3) countries should maintain and implement individual plans, catered to the unique needs and state of industry within, and 4) the agreement implements a "common, but differentiated responsibility" (from the stellar Atlantic article) to countries, recognizing the reality that newly industrialized countries will need to exercise a greater dependence (per capita) on non-renewable energy compared to developed nations like those of Western Europe or the United States.
The Paris Agreement calls for a systematic worldwide decrease in greenhouse gas emissions which harm our atmosphere. If you are unfamiliar with how greenhouse gas emissions damage our atmosphere and the world we live in, see this phenomenal YouTube video by MinuteEarth on the topic:
If that video was too complicated for you, enjoy this extremely trippy other video I found on YouTube. Note that Drover Rideshare only approves of the science of these videos and not the video's questionable script or potentially scarring images for children. :/
Implications of The Paris Agreement on the Car Industry
Now that you are an expert on greenhouse gasses and climate change theory, you can see how harmful greenhouse gasses can be and are to our atmosphere. Cars are a primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. So, in this way, zero-emission, pure electric cars in both the United States and across the world will become an extremely important technology to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In other words, to stay afloat in a growingly eco-conscious marketplace, automobile manufacturers will need to heavily focus on the design and affordable production of electric zero-emission vehicles and hybrid low-emission vehicles. Cities will need to adapt (as many are) by providing accessible charging infrastructure in the same way gas station access is an essential part of owning cars with internal combustion engines.
Our Call to Action
Drover recognizes the validity of climate change and the importance of using sustainable technology today to ensure the health of our environment in the future. That is to say that we want our posterity to be able to enjoy clean air, forests, and public spaces without wearing masks or closing their stinging eyes from toxins in the air. We are so incredibly excited by the international commitment to sustainable technology, especially cars, put forth in the Paris Agreement. We hope that in future years, all involved countries, and others, continue to see its importance and uphold the terms of the agreement, despite the potentially divergent political leanings of individual leaders.
Put more plainly, our call to action is for the world to continue on the track it is on, to uphold the standards of the Paris Agreement and to continue advocating for sustainable energy. Our call to action for individual countries is for them to do their part in maintaining the global 2 degree average goal. Our call to action to car and transportation companies is to embrace electric and zero emission technology and work to make such vehicles more widely available and affordable. Our call to action to individual consumers is to embrace zero emission technology and seriously consider these new vehicles when making car purchases or renting.
Patrizio Murdocca is Chief Web Architect at Drover Rideshare, a student at Vanderbilt University, and President of Interfaced Ministries.