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Even If Nothing Comes Of It, Paris Talks Show World Taking Climate Change Seriously

President Obama addresses the Paris climate talks - November 30, 2015.
Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
President Obama addresses the Paris climate talks on Monday.

Leaders and officials from more than 150 countries gathered in Paris this week to discuss climate change a potential deal to reduce emissions and reduce humanity’s carbon footprint. The developed world has been hesitant to lower carbon emissions, but they’re also hesitant to provide funding to the developing world in order to produce technologies that do that.

Rebecca Cruise, a comparative politics expert and the assistant dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, told KGOU’s World Views it’s not the first time we’ve heard about these types of changes, and the significant divide between the Global North and the Global South.

“But this may be a time when the starts are aligning,” Cruise said. “The political will seems to have increased. You have a number of countries that are participating here, and unlike the Kyoto protocols that were signed a while ago, the United States and China are willing to take the lead here.”

Cruise says President Obama knows Congress won’t ratify any deal the president brings back to the U.S, but there are encouraging signs countries are starting to take this seriously, like a trillion-dollar deal organized by France and India, and the fact that more than 150 countries came to the talks with some sort of emissions plan in place.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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