The Jerusalem Post released a list of the 50 most influential Jews around the world, two of which are making major changes for the climate. While Efi Stenzler, ‘Israel’s Green Minister’ as he is affectionately called, is busy saving vast tracts of the Holy Land from industrial and urban development, Todd Stern is getting ready for COP21. As ‘Obama’s best bet for an environmental upheaval’ Stern found his start at the Kyoto Protocol under the Clinton administration where he played a key role in answering some of climate changes’ toughest ethical questions.
Thinking globally, but always morally, Stern is responsible for the joint emissions agreement made between China and America late last year, a pact that has conjured a great deal of optimism for COP21 in Paris this December.
By Jerusalem Post Staff
The Jerusalem Post has put together its annual list of '50 most influential Jews' who have impacted the world last year, and have the potential to affect change in years to come.
Obama’s best bet for an environmental upheaval
Whether it is tens of millions of Africans parched by severe drought, dozens of island nations eyeing rising sea levels, or anxious countries along the route of increasingly powerful monsoons, all of the billions affected by climate change will be looking toward the world’s main superpower this December to stitch together a historic global climate deal at the UN’s Paris climate talks.
The Herculean task of corralling 190 rich and poor countries around a global climate pact that has teeth – and potentially saving the world – belongs to 64-year-old Todd Stern, US President Barack Obama’s special envoy for climate change. Originally appointed to the position by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Stern earned his green credentials leading the US team at the Kyoto Protocol climate talks. A former deputy staff secretary and assistant to former president Bill Clinton, Stern is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.
“The only sustainable development is low carbon development,” Stern told lawmakers at a congressional hearing after the failed Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009. After 21 years of UN-sponsored climate talks, Paris aims, for the first time, to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate policies, from all nations in the world, in order to keep temperatures from rising no more than the recognized benchmark of 2 degrees Celsius. If temperatures go any higher, scientists believe, a series of catastrophic events will radically affect life on the planet.