Conner Harris ‘19, Photo Editor
In the United Nations latest climate report, new news was released on the current projections of our climate. Nothing that the United Nations has released should surprise us. The world’s climate is changing for the worse, and human activity is to blame.
The startling information that came alongside statements such as those about our climates future in the UN’s latest report, which was released in October, is how little time the world has to reduce our emissions to a necessary level to pump the breaks on the ever warming climate.
Twelve years. Twelve years is all the leaders, business owners, and citizens of Earth have to change the narrative. Do not let this number fool you, this is a tiny amount of time. This new projection was met by a bleak outlook on the chances we have to meet our goal of only a two degree increase in global temperature.
This new projection was the effect of the 2017 Global Emissions Report. After a relatively stable period from 2014-2016, 2017 saw a one percent increase in global emissions which equates to 53.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide, the largest amount in our world’s history.
The UN Climate Convention is meeting this December in Poland to finalize and continue to work on the Paris Agreement, which is a global agreement to reduce emissions, signed back in 2015. It is notable to mention that the United States is the only country that is not a part of the Paris Agreement after President Donald Trump backed out in 2017, claiming that it placed “draconian” financial burdens on the American people.
Along with the bleak news of the updated timeline, the report also provided possible solutions that do not rely on national governments. The report cites the actions of “non-state actors” as a possible way to reach the targeted emission goal. These “actors” are local governments, businesses, investors, and civil organizations. The report also mentions that with an increase in public and private calls for change, pressure on national and state governments to pass more pressing environmental regulations may be a result.
With the UN meeting again soon, the world will be eagerly be waiting to see the results of the convention as well as to see the reaction from governments worldwide.
If you would like to make an impact on this issue, contact your representatives and make your voice heard.
Photo courtesy of sciencenordic.com