The international climate change summit is in its 20th year, but this one could be different. Many are describing a sense of renewed hope now that the U.S. and China have vowed to reduce their greenhouse gases.

Wake Forest University Professor Justin Catanoso has been covering climate change for years. He says the world will be watching what happens in Peru now that the two largest carbon producers have agreed to cap their emissions after 2020. 

"They've never agreed to play by these rules at all, so there's this optimism going into Lima that if the two big players in the game are willing to play, that something can get done," says Catanoso. 

At the summit, countries will negotiate the regulations that will be used to create the Paris Treaty in 2015. That will be the first time that nations will agree on different levels of participation to reduce greenhouse emissions. 

"We all depend on what's coming out of Lima," says Catanoso. "Climate change and global warming can seem huge but it affects us here locally. We just have to look at our coasts in North Carolina and see that sea level rises that are driven by climate change are going to have a dramatic impact on the Carolina coast, really now, and going forward."

The question, he says, is whether there's the political will to move forward with any regulations. Catanoso will be in Peru the week of December 8th, and WFDD will check back in with him during his time there. 


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