Even though the United Nations Paris Agreement is a profoundly positive step toward combating rapid climate change on a global scale, it continues to find its way into the news for the controversies that surround it. The most recent headline came from President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, which has been lambasted by environmentalists, political leaders, and concerned citizens all over the world. Canada, and particularly Alberta, has made no such move to follow in Trump’s footsteps, and it has taken measures to stay on track of its goal. What are the basic goals of the Paris Agreement?
Paris Agreement Goals
1. Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
2. Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;
3. Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
How Does Solar Energy in Alberta Combat Rapid Climate Change?
In order to tackle rapid climate change, countries must take measures to significantly reduce greenhouse gases. The biggest contributor of carbon dioxide gases into the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil. It’s time for countries to enact change. The Alberta government has taken great pains to do its part to contribute to Canada’s goal. So far, here are the steps Alberta has taken to lower greenhouse gas emissions:
The introduction of an aggressive carbon tax is guaranteed to lower greenhouse gas emissions. By increasing prices of the world’s cheapest fuel, people will start to look toward more sustainable energy sources.
Phase Out of Coal
To abet the increasing carbon tax, coal will slowly be phased out in Alberta and the rest of Canada. By 2030, the province aims to completely phase out coal products. The increasingly limited supply of coal will also drive up the prices, thus making it an unpopular fuel source.
Solar Energy Rebates
As coal prices rise, the cost of solar energy will go down. In 2017, the government of Alberta began introducing rebates to Albertans who switch to solar energy. These rebates will aim to cut the already-reduced costs of solar energy by 30%, which makes solar panels an affordable and attainable method of reducing greenhouse gases. Photovoltaic systems are 80% cheaper than they were a decade ago and 80% more advanced.
Solar Power Effect on Environment
Solar power is a renewable resource that will never be exhausted no matter how often its energy is consumed. It is freely available to everyone on the planet and discards zero pollution and greenhouse gases while using zero water.
Each Albertan who switches to solar energy will be making their Canadian contribution to the Paris Agreement. Although these are small steps in the community, they contribute to a wave of environmental responsibility that will affect the entire world.