The Heat dissects challenges to climate change action

Climate Change

The United Nations held its climate summit in New York, bringing together world leaders and activists. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called climate change the “defining issue of our age.” So what is the international community doing about it? The Heat breaks it down with Bill Nye aka “The Science Guy” and other experts.

Every country in the world is affected by climate change, that’s the message from the U.N. Climate Summit. Activists, heads of state, and even a celebrity or two, spoke about their commitment to fixing the damage to our environment.

“Climate change threatens hard won peace, prosperity, opportunity for billions of peoples. Today we must set the world on a new course,” said Secretary-General Ki-moon.

Many low-lying countries, such as the Philippines and Bangladesh, are at high risk for flooding and natural disasters, even though their carbon footprint is relatively low.

“It will not be an exaggeration to say that Filipinos bear a disproportionate amount of the burden when it comes to climate change,” said Phillipines President Benigno Aquino.

The Heat dissects challenges to climate change action

The Heat dissects challenges to climate change action

The United Nations held its climate summit in New York, bringing together world leaders and activists. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called climate change the "defining issue of our age." So what is the international community doing about it? The Heat breaks it down with science educator Bill Nye aka "The Science Guy" and other experts.

Leaders from China and the United States, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, spoke about what they’re doing together.

“All countries need to follow the path of green and low carbon development that suits their national conditions, set forth post-2020 actions in light of actual circumstances, take more forceful measures, and strengthen international cooperation,” said China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

“China is ready to work with other countries and shoulder responsibilities and build a better future for mankind.”

President Barak Obama said he met with Vice Premier Zhang and reiterated that both countries have a special responsibility to lead.

“That is what big nations have to do. And today I call on all countries to join us. Not next year, or the year after that but right now. Because no nation can meet this global threat alone,” Obama said.

Popular science educator and commentator Bill Nye joins The Heat from Los Angeles to share his views of how people can reduce climate change.

“The biggest effect that most of us have on the environment in the developed world is the car we drive. So if you want to do something personally get, be more efficient… take public transportation, ride your bike, drive less, or get a more efficient car. -Bill Nye”

To affect greater change Nye encourages people to get involved with passing regulations and influencing industries to be more efficient.

“People used to complain about the Clean Water Act, this was about 30 years ago, and it turns out now everyone really prefers to have clean water,” Nye said. People used to complain about regulations regarding wetlands… now everyone prefers not to have floods and not to build seawalls and dykes.”

Follow Bille Nye on Twitter: @TheScienceGuy

Bill Nye joins The Heat to discuss climate change

Bill Nye joins The Heat to discuss climate change

The United Nations held its climate summit in New York, bringing together world leaders and activists. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called climate change the "defining issue of our age." So what is the international community doing about it? We'll break it down with science educator Bill Nye aka "The Science Guy" and other experts.

The Heat is also joined by Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Follow him on Twitter at: @JPvanYpersele. Also joining the discussion is environmental activist Sze Ping Lo, the CEO of the World Wildlife Federation, China.

Lo said that China has taken encouraging action to lower carbon emissions including building pilot low-carbon cities, high speed railway trains and controlling emissions from the electrical, steel and cement sectors.

“It is very observable that climate change is taking a hit in China, the top leaders in China are aware of the problem and have been taking quite encouraging measures to address the root cause of climate change, which is carbon emission to the atmosphere by human activities,” Lo said. “The challenge is huge but we see that there are positive signs that the government is taking it seriously.” -Sze Ping Lo.

Van Ypersele said that the impacts of climate change are more visible now than ten years ago and people are more aware, despite the fact that action to stop climate change is not at the level of the challenge.

“If we don’t curb emissions very significantly in the next decades, shore warming by the end of the century could reach five or six degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level,” van Ypersele said. “That is a huge change. It’s as much as the change that took place about 10,000 years ago… when three kilometers of ice was on North America and Europe, and the present stage which has been stable for the last 10,000 years.” -Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.

Experts join The Heat's discussion on climate change

Experts join The Heat's discussion on climate change

What is the international community doing about it? The Heat breaks it down with Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and environmental activist Sze Ping Lo, the CEO of the World Wildlife Federation, China.