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The Climate’s Point of No Return

When it comes to climate change, the world has reached a point of no return. That may sound ominous, but it is precisely where we need to be: unable to continue retreading old ground, we must resolutely set our future path.

MADRID – When it comes to climate change, the world has reached a point of no return. That may sound ominous, but it is precisely where we need to be: unable to continue retreading old ground, we must resolutely set our future path.

An important first step will come at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris in November and December, where world leaders will agree on the most important international agreement on climate governance in more than 20 years. Yet important decisions remain to be made in charting a course toward a new and dynamic low-carbon economy, one capable of supporting a fast-growing and increasingly prosperous global population in the long term.

With citizens, business, and governments worldwide finally recognizing the universal nature of climate change, the outlook for this year’s conference is substantially more positive than it was prior to the last attempt to reach a comprehensive global agreement, at the 2009 Copenhagen summit (COP 15). To be sure, the challenge ahead is as broad as it is complex; but it is becoming increasingly clear that making the transition to a low-carbon economy will bring considerable economic benefits.

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