A call to action: climate change

By Jill Nawoyski
December 2, 2015

French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during the official opening of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change on Nov. 30, 2015 held at Le Bourget, near Paris, France. (Pierre Villard/Abaca Press/TNS)
French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolene Royal shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during the official opening of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change on Nov. 30, 2015 held at Le Bourget, near Paris, France. (Pierre Villard/Abaca Press/TNS) MCT CAMPUS

One of the biggest meetings of world leaders is currently being held in France. For some, a meeting is simply a meeting, but that is not the truth for this event. This week-long conference serves as a huge chance for 40,000 individuals to come together to work towards one common goal to save the future of the world and put a halt to climate change.

According to Pew Research, about three-quarters of Americans believe that climate change is a serious subject, but at the end of the day, what are we doing to take precautions? The Environmental Protection Agency advises to take  measures such as changing a lightbulb, using less water, recycling and powering down electronics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But personal changes, while important, are not enough. All the world’s governments must work together to eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels.

The world has to make massive changes to prevent global warming. Going on the way we are or even making small changes won’t be enough. Ocean levels will still be rising and temperatures still getting hotter.

If all this is true, why are many hopeful about this conference in Paris?

People are hopeful because for the first time, every major country  the US, European countries, China, India and Brazil  are bringing proposals to the conference about what they hope to do to reduce global warming. All countries now see that this may be the last chance we have to stop and reverse global warming.

French president Francois Hollande said to the United Nations, “Never have the stakes of an international meeting been so high, since what is at stake is the future of the planet, the future of life.”

This conference is being held with hopes of coming to a worldwide agreement. Individual governments have already mapped out their own versions of different plans to reduce emissions, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), and this conference will make countries come to a common agreement about climate financing for poor countries and reducing emissions, according to TIME magazine.

In 2014, record high temperatures were met and according to the United Nations, 2015 will be the hottest year to date.

One plan that the United States has come up with, called the Clean Power Plan, proposes reducing emissions by 32 percent from the levels in 2005 by 2030. With the United States, the world’s second largest emitter, coming up with a plan as large as this one, there are hopes that other countries will want to take similar measures. Unfortunately, this week, the House of Representatives voted against this plan, but President Obama will veto the Congressional vote and try to move ahead.

It is time to take action. The fate of the world in which we call home is sitting in the palm of our hands.

Jill Nawoyski

I just want to impact the lives of others while finding myself along the way. Majoring in Digital Communications and Marketing at Cabrini College - Editor in Chief & Co-News Editor of The Loquitur, member of LOQation Weekly News, Student Government Senator and Student Ambassador. Dreamer, doer and firm believer that the ocean can change lives.

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