CALIFORNIA—On Tuesday, May 19, Governor Jerry Brown and leaders of 11 states and provinces including North America, South America and Europe signed an agreement to help tackle climate change.
The Memorandum of Understanding, officially knows as “Under 2 MOU” focuses on limiting the output of greenhouse gases 80 to 95 percent by 2050. The ‘under 2’ represents keeping the increase of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. Two degrees Celsius represents the temperature where governments believe climate change effects will become permanent and disastrous for the planet.
The states and provinces involved include, Acre, Brazil; Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Baja, California; Mexico; Catalonia, Spain; Jalisco, Mexico; Ontario, Canada; British Columbia, Canada; Wales; and the following US states: Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
The agreement hopes to to set the tone for other countries and provinces to follow. This will help cut emissions worldwide and limit the spread of climate change globally.
Prior to this agreement, California and Quebec already had a cap-and-trade system in store. In April, Ontario joined making the system the largest in North America.
Later this year, the United Nations will hold a climate change conference in Paris. The goal will be to reach an international agreement for all nations to cap emissions.
Within the next two years the California Air Resources Board will oversee the cap-and-trade system. In April, Governor Brown issued an executive order with hopes to cut emissions 40 percent by 2030.