Saving Environment Contagious Worldwide

It’s often said imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but recently, imitation has become the greatest way to a healthier planet. Car owners, universities, and even entire nations have set precedents as to how to clean up the environment. Many organizations have taken notice, often following suit. While growing up, we all knew copy-cats were the worst. It’s now clear copying, or borrowing the ideas of others is what it’s going to take to make significant environmental impacts.

The most recent case of replication came June 3, when China announced plans to set a cap on CO2 emissions one day after President Obama announced the EPA’s new CO2 regulations. The EPA plans are to cut carbon pollution levels 30 percent by 2030 through multiple strategies, including cap and trade policies. Now a positive instance of Chinese counterfeiting, the world’s biggest emitter will have a set cap on its CO2 emissions by 2016. No definite totals have been declared, but it’s clear the EPA’s announcement is what prompted China’s actions, and what can hopefully spur more regulations from other countries.

Divestment from fossil fuels by colleges and universities has also proved to be contagious. Stanford University announced last month it will divest more than $18 billion from fossil fuel companies, making it the ninth US college to do so. Now students and faculty at Oxford University are pushing the esteemed establishment to sell off its stocks too. Oxford students, professors, staff, and alumni have all signed a petition encouraging the University to get rid of £3.3 billion, or about $5.5 billion in fossil fuel investments. Oxford Professor Henry Shue said, “We at Oxford like to claim the mantle of intellectual leadership. Here is our opportunity to display genuine leadership when it counts.” The University has not yet confirmed whether it will divest or not, but as publicity over the matter heightens, more institutions are sure to hop on the bandwagon.

It’s hard to say whether breaking a Guinness World Record is copying or out-doing, but as long as the theme in mind is clean energy, it’s a win for everyone. About one month ago, Montreal hosted Quebec’s Electric Vehicle Association where 431 EVs drove through the streets, earning it the world record for largest electric vehicle parade, breaking Switzerland’s record of 305 EVs. The record didn’t last long as 507 electric vehicles in Germany recently gathered for the World Advanced Vehicle Expedition, breaking the record again. The events aim to raise awareness of the EV community, and promote others to switch to environmentally friendly vehicles. Electric vehicles are on the rise anyway, but a little competition is always a good way to give drivers an extra push to change to green energy.

While being a copy-cat is a major offense in grades one through five, when it comes to the world’s well-being, copying the methods of others for a common goal can’t be anything but positive. It creates a community, provides effective strategies, and brings awareness to a multitude of people. The more countries or organizations that jump in and join the cause, the more successful everyone will be.

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