We focus heavily on the current and planned work being done to improve the environment here in the U.S., but the onus doesn’t fall entirely on the United States to resolve the issues facing our planet. Government officials across the globe are working towards building a more sustainable and energy efficient future. During the 2011 G8 Summit held in Deauville, France last month, leaders of some of the world’s largest economies gathered to recommit to the effort of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While the G8 Summit is designed to discuss and work towards amicable solutions to many of the world’s issues, few of these issues carry the weight that the status of the environment presents with the possibility of such severe, widespread long term problems. At the summit, the tragedies of Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami were discussed along with the resulting fallout from the Fukushima nuclear reactor raising concerns about the viability of nuclear power. Once thought to be the best replacement of fossil fuel, many delegates agreed about the urgent need to look into alternate power sources.
The adoption of wind, solar and biodiesels were all discussed during the summit, however with each, there are challenges. Biodiesels in particular pose a grave threat to the world’s rainforest. Palm-oil, a plant used in a variety of products, including fuel, is growing in popularity and increasing the rate at which rainforests are being reduced. With this rapid depletion, a major natural carbon dioxide storage source is being removed, resulting in adverse effects on the climate around the world. With this, the natural production of food suffers as do the prices for these goods. Suddenly, we’re faced with skyrocketing food costs because of mismanaged efforts to use a seemingly useful and environmentally friendly fuel.
Thankfully, the leaders at the G8 Summit are aware of this and have not only expressed their commitment to the environment, but are also coming together to encourage emerging economies to reduce their emissions and commit to the world’s environmental future as well. We truly do believe that it takes government involvement to make true progress in the battle for climate change, and with commitment from the some of the world’s largest, most influential countries we can only expect positive results.