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I think climate change should be the highest priority in the future of American foreign policy. International climate change policy is one of the most captivating issues in foreign policy, but in recent years it has become one of the most controversial. Climate change is most known as global warming. The climate change treatment is at a crossroads.
The United states as well as other developed countries, will have to stick to their commitments to fund new low-carbon emissions systems in countries that are complaining that the finances are not coming as promised. “But the challenges on the road to achieving this shared goal are vast and they begin with the United States.”(Ott). To direct climate policy in this century on to a successful path will require the skills and dedication not only of natural scientists and technology developers, but also of those in the foreign policy community. Climate change has the potential to affect all elements of national power. For example, militaries may be less efficient at invoking and applying power if they have to operate in flooded terrain or during a heat wave. Perhaps the area of greatest concern, however, is that climate change might undermine economic development, especially in poor states. National power depends on many variables, including environmental factors such as geography and resource endowment, military capacity, intelligence capacity, and a range of social factors, including population size and cohesiveness, regime type, and the size and performance of the national economy.
One year ago, almost 200 nations signed a “global pact” known as the Paris Agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to combat climate change with the common goal of stopping global temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. As stated in the article by Harris there are already some legal cases in the U.S. Supreme Court have stalled President Obama’s plan to phase out coal power plants as part of his “Clean Power Plan.” The delay could take years as the cases brought by various states play out. Meeting the goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement will take significant effort both domestically and abroad.
Although there are many problems with climate change, there are also many solutions that can help but that doesn’t mean there are challenges that may get in the way. The first challenge is to get rid of burning coal, oil and, natural gas. This is considered the most discouraging challenge as residents of richer nations literally eat, wear, work, play and even sleep on the products made from such fossilized sunshine. Citizens of developing nations want and deserve the same comforts, which are largely thanks to the energy stored in such fuels. Oil is the bind of the global economy, hidden inside such universal items such as plastic and corn, and fundamental to the transportation of both consumers and goods. Coal supplies around half of the electricity used in the U.S. and nearly that much worldwide. A percentage that is likely to grow, according to the International Energy Agency there are no perfect solutions for reducing dependence on fossil fuels but every bit counts. Cutting down on long-distance travel would also help, most notably airplane flights, which are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions and a source that arguably releases such emissions in the worst possible spot.
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