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'America Abroad:' Global approaches to climate change

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Oxfam activists wearing masks of the leaders of the G7 summit
Oxfam activists wearing masks of the leaders of the G7 summit near the venue of the G7 summit in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy on May 26, 2017.
Paolo Santalucia | AP

From the "America Abroad" series, a look at the approaches various countries around the world are taking to address climate change: China, India, Canada and Morocco.

At the European meetings last week, President Trump was urged not to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

However, a White House official says Trump is expected to withdraw from the accord, though there may be "caveats in the language."

The Paris agreement is structured around the goal to limit the increase in global average temperatures.

"The whole theory behind Paris was that by getting every country to step up to the plate and every country to make a commitment, and then agreeing to a binding system where countries have to submit targets, monitor those targets and have those targets subject to independent review, that over time that process would help increase the ambition of countries' climate pledges," said Brian Deese, former senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and a top negotiator of the Paris climate agreement.

But the set targets have been insufficient to solve the issue of climate change, Deese said.

In some areas of the world, changes in temperature and connected weather events have forced people from their jobs and homes, they are "climate refugees."

China, a top emitter of greenhouse gases, has attempted to turn this bad news for the environment into good news for the economy — pushing jobs in renewable energy and green technology.

After China and the United States, India is the third biggest carbon producer. The country has taken large steps to embrace clean energy but coal is still widely used.

To help push the renewable industry forward, India's government is encouraging companies to take a competitive approach to clean energy contracts, rather than offering subsidies to those who purchase renewable energy technologies, like solar panels.

In Canada, northern communities have been reeling from the effects of climate change. Structures built on permafrost are in danger as thaws alter the landscape.

To combat these changes, Canada's government has adopted a plan to put a price on carbon pollution, but a push back from the fossil fuel industry has made it impossible to pass a binding law on the matter.

Meanwhile, Morocco, a country that gets plenty of sunshine and has a stable government, has become a testing ground for emerging solar technology. The equipment is expensive, and technology is improving quickly making installed panels somewhat obsolete.

However, 20 years ago only half of Moroccans had access to electricity, now almost every household has it. This has resulted in an economic and population boom, emphasizing the need for a successful renewable energy model on the market.

To listen to the program, click the audio player above.

Climate change in Minnesota

• In NE Minnesota: A 'test kitchen' for saving northern forests

• Fond du Lac: 'Water in a Time of Climate Change'

• Climate change in Minnesota: 23 signs

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