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The Urgent Question On Earth Day Remains How To Avoid The Consequences Of Climate Change

Borrego Springs Solar Plant generating power in the hot desert valley on June 1, 2016.
Kris Arciaga
Borrego Springs Solar Plant generating power in the hot desert valley on June 1, 2016.
David Victor, a professor of international relations at the UC San Diego, believes technological innovation can help overcome the hurdle of the costs required for governments to take action.

On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the most urgent question facing us is how to slow climate change in time to avoid its most catastrophic consequences.

David Victor, a professor of international relations at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy, is co-author of an article in the current edition of Foreign Affairs Magazine. He writes the reason the global community isn't making enough headway in fighting climate change is because the benefits are in the future while the costs are now.

Victor believes the electric power sector holds the greatest promise for bringing down those costs.

"The really big improvements that we've seen globally have been renewable power and in some places, the greater use of cleaner natural gas compared with coal. And that's why the only sector globally that is consistently making some progress in cutting emissions is electric power. So I think that's going to be the front end of a big strategy for cutting emissions,' Victor said.

Victor joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to talk about those challenges.