Historical and current energy systems are dominated by fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) which produce CO2 and other greenhouse gases (the fundamental driver of global climate change). If we are to meet our global climate targets and avoid dangerous climate change, the world needs a significant and concerted transition in its energy sources. Balancing the challenge between development and environment is the ultimate goal of ensuring everyone has access to enough sustainable energy to maintain a high standard of living.
Virtually every sector of the global economy, from manufacturing to agriculture to transportation to power production, contributes greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, so all of them must evolve away from fossil fuels if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Countries around the world acknowledged this reality with the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. The changes will be most important among the biggest emitters: 20 countries are responsible for at least three-quarters of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, with China, the United States, and India leading the way. The technologies for ramping down greenhouse gas emissions already exist, for the most part. They include swapping fossil fuels for renewable sources, boosting energy efficiency, and discouraging carbon emissions by putting a price on them.
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