Kentucky Climate Scientist Says Paris Agreements Will Offer Opportunity for Economic Development

Dec 2, 2015

Just like every other place on the globe, Kentucky will be affected by the agreements made at the United Nations conference on climate change being held in Paris.

Rezaul Mahmood is a professor at Western Kentucky University and associate director of the Kentucky Climate Center. He served on a national climate advisory committee and says this is a good time for Kentucky leaders to look for opportunities related to new climate change policies. 

“The technology part of it, that’s a very important part. A lot of  people, a lot of states and other countries are investing in energy efficient technology, green technology," said Mahmood. "And they are going to be selling those things to other people.” 

Mahmood said Kentucky can boost its economy by developing technology to address global warming, energy efficiency and public health issues, like the temperature changes that can affect pollen and allergies.

At the Paris climate conference, world leaders are attempting to develop international agreements to slow global warming. Mahmood, who is a professor of geology and geography, says the nation has already seen some of the effects with increasing health issues related to pollen and allergies.

“If you have warming phase-by-phase, the South becomes warmer first, moving from winter to spring, and then it slowly becomes warmer in the Midwest and Northeast," said Mahmood. "But if it gets all warm at the same time, the pollen and all these things that come out, it becomes a huge health issue for humans.”