COP discusses dangerous effects to atmosphere

The Odds and Ends of Global Warming
Infographic by Zach Toohey

 

In the modern world, our environment is rapidly changing. With every year added, our atmosphere nears a dangerous consequence due to our actions. With climate change becoming more prominent every year, it is time to enforce anti-CO2 irregularities and  be attentive to the steady increase of pollution.

A meeting was arranged in France from November 30th to December 12th, 2015 to discuss the problems with climate change. At the end of the meeting a new Paris Agreement was passed, and countries are now preparing to change CO2 standards in 2020.

The Paris Agreement was created  to reach three goals. The first is to lower the global average temperature  by 2 degrees celsius and if they are unable, then to prevent any increase up  1.5 degrees celsius increase in global average temperature. The second is to adapt food production to the rising temperatures. Lastly, to adjust financial resources to accommodate for the change.

During the meeting, it was discussed that one of the top contributors to the CO2 output is China, who has a steadily increasing pollution rate. China clearly sees this as an issue, and is working towards fixing the problem on their own. However, with rapid discussion over the topic worldwide, many countries wonder if it is time to get involved with China’s plan due to the severity of the CO2 levels.

Second on the list of top contributors is the United States, holding the second highest CO2 levels. The United States has also started its effort towards reducing CO2 emissions to a minimum by working towards using other methods instead of fossil fuels for energy, like solar panels and wind energy.

No agreement is perfect, and this one must be strengthened over time, but groups across every sector of society will now begin to reduce dangerous carbon pollution through the framework of this agreement.”

— Al Gore

Lowering the CO2 emissions using alternative fuel sources, is a intuitive way to recover from years of pollution, an idea that China is also implementing, and improving upon. These are promising first steps towards fixing the CO2 problem.

With the climate clearly changing, action is a necessity. If the rest of the first world countries do not get involved and assist with their own issues, a serious change in the environment may happen in our lifetime. But to interfere with a specific country’s plan, such as China’s plan of solving the issue, could be a controversial course of action that the UN may not be ready to deal with and control the conflict that would arise from interfering.

In addition, not everyone agreed with and was happy with the outcome of the Paris Agreement, French President Francois Hollande, UN Security General Ban Ki-moon and Professor James Hansen were not satisfied and felt that the result of the meeting were promises and not commitments.

This is a fair point, as many of the concluding statements in the meetings were not commitments, which could lead to many countries not sticking to the plan of CO2 reduction, jeopardizing the plan set in motion after this recent meeting. There is clear room for worry and frustration.

However, Al Gore stated that, “No agreement is perfect, and this one must be strengthened over time, but groups across every sector of society will now begin to reduce dangerous carbon pollution through the framework of this agreement.”  

The planned steps are reasonable and realistic. Any steps taken towards the better of the world will better the future of the atmosphere of earth. By taking this course of action could create a path that could create a brighter future for humanity and this is an opportunity that cannot be missed.