“Almost no nation is stretching”

executive_stretch_shutterstockSo says Bill McKibben in his recent New Yorker article chronicling the political shift on climate change he sees occurring right now.  McKibben points to three recent events as indications of a successful  peoples movement away from fossil fuels.  First is President Obama’s decision last Friday not to grant a permit to Transcanada to build the Keystone Pipeline.  Second is the growing understanding of why the world’s carbon reserves should stay in the ground, and the business decisions being made on it.  Third is the rapid drop in renewable energy production costs and the concomitant growth in solar and wind as core, not fringe, energy sources.

Despite these trends, McKibben concludes that COP21 “will be a way station in this fight, not a terminus.” He concludes that while the peoples movement on climate change has touched the international negotiations – that “the proposed agreement for the talks reflects some of the political shift that’s happened in years since the failed negotiations at Copenhagen” – the agreement as is “won’t close that gap between politics and physics” because “almost no nation is stretching.”