By Rebecca Leber on Nov 24, 2012
Hurricane Sandy’s $50 billion damage demonstrated the vulnerability of America’s largest cities to the effects of global warming. Christiana Figueres, the top United Nations diplomat for international climate negotiations, said Sandy serves as “yet another wake-up call” for the U.S. to cut carbon pollution.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Figueres made the case for why it’s in the country’s best interest to lead with urgency:
FIGUERES: First, from a domestic perspective, why would the United States allow other countries to pursue the technologies of the future while the United States stays with the technologies that are becoming every day more obsolete, hence losing its future competitiveness in an increasingly competitive world?
More than 30 countries have already taken steps well beyond the U.S., instituting caps on carbon pollution or a carbon tax, including Europe, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and Mexico. As Figueres says, it is not a choice between lower pollution and economic growth, since climate change devastates businesses and American security.