George Jacob is the President & CEO of Bay Ecotarium and leads the $260 million transformation of the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, to the world’s first Climate Resilience & Ocean Conservation Living Museum.
President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team named 76-year-old veteran Senator and former Secretary of the State. John Kerry as the Climate Envoy. The seriousness of the move resonates with its first-ever appointment on the National Security Council that focuses directly on Climate Change as an existential and National threat. The appointment gathers new meaning after a four-year hiatus where the Trump Administration chose to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Pulling out of the Accord in 2017 had put the United States at odds with at least 195 nations around the world. The Trump Executive Order signed at the Environmental Protection Agency effectively reversed industrial and powerplant emission levels and climate policies like the Clean Power Plan while approving construction of major pipelines such as the Dakota Access Pipeline. It was promoted as a bid to save and or create 6.5 million new jobs.
Signed on November 4, 2016, the Paris Accord was the world’s first comprehensive Climate Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) proposed by former President Barack Obama who expressed his commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 26-28% by 2025. The pillars of the Agreement included maintaining the temperature of Earth below 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, investing $100 billion a year to address the effects of Climate Change, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from across the globe. Under the previous 1997 Kyoto emissions Protocol, developing countries were not mandated to reduce their emissions.
With an inevitable prescription to reduce burning fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emission levels on the cards with the incoming Biden Presidency, Tesla’s stock price gained 6.6% on Monday and 5.1% on Tuesday to $548.53 per share, soaring to a whopping 523% so far this year, making Tesla CEO Elon Musk the second wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $127.9 billion! Signatory nations will be tasked with preparing, maintaining, and publishing their own aspirational greenhouse gas reduction targets that will be reviewed for any possible revisions every five years starting 2023. The Climate deal proposes a Carbon neutral planet by 2100.
The key to the deal are the developing countries in continental Africa, India and China, that have gone largely unregulated in the energy and fuel emission standards. The bone of contention is that it calls for developed nations to give $100 billion annually to developing countries to promote greener economies, embrace clean-tech and adopt sustainable practices by 2020- a date that may now need to be re-visited.
The first of its kind Climate Resilience and Ocean Conservation Living Museum and Aquarium under planning in San Francisco with projected satellite centers around the world would foster an unprecedented ecosystem of content sharing, grassroots movement coupled with scenario building, exploring solutions, policy, inventions, and setting intentions for addressing cumulative challenges created by Climate Change. Dr. Jill Biden had delivered the Key-Note address at the unveiling of the vision, lauding the creativity and rigor of its design elements and mission-aligned commitment to ocean conservation, environment, and climate change. She emphasized that awareness, understanding and education are potential set in motion, encouraging an expeditious effort to make this vision a reality. An international team of experts drawn from France, Germany, Canada and the US are currently engaged in its research, content curation, master-planning, design, engineering, and permitting.
The time to act to protect our collective futures has come. The future is NOW.