Asking to attend the meeting with more than empty promises, the United Nations held the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23. With the possibility of reducing carbon emissions in 12 years and keeping the average temperature increase below 2 degrees celsius, the time to act is now. Unfortunately, climate change solutions, such as the Paris Agreement, lack ambition to fulfill commitments.
The United States is a major issue in the fight against climate change.
The 2016 Paris Agreement was the first global deal to tackle the climate crisis with 196 countries signing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the United States. At the Climate Action Summit the U.N. did not allow the U.S. to speak because of our failure to fulfill our commitments. President Trump justified pulling our country out of the agreement by saying it would undermine our economy, and in doing so he’s failed future generations. Without immediate action climate change will become irreversible and the United States will be guilty.
The United States and China produce roughly 40% of the world’s carbon emissions. As technology advances and our country continues to industrialize, the emissions will continue to increase. World leaders, including our own, don’t bat an eye at the fact we’re destroying our planet. People were outraged by the Amazon fires, but not enough people are making an effort to slow the effects of climate change. With the United States being such a large contributor to the crisis, we collectively should be more concerned.
Disturbingly, climate change and the science behind it is still being denied. People consider it as something you do or don’t believe in when it’s simply a fact. There are too many people, especially older generations, that deny climate change, leaving younger generations to protest for their future. The fight against climate change shouldn’t be left in the hands of young activist that have to put aside their education and personal life to ensure there’s a livable planet in the future. Staying in denial about climate change only enables large corporations to continue polluting the earth.
While change is happening including thousands of people protesting and activists such as Greta Thunberg are educating anyone who will listen, it’s not enough. Until everyone is actively making changes, even changes as small as eating vegan one day a week or reducing single use plastics, we won’t be able to fight climate change.
Large corporations will meet the demands of their consumers. If everyone demands more sustainable products, they will fulfill them. Because the government won’t be the start to the needed change, we should be. Living a completely sustainable life is practically impossible, but everyone can make changes in their lives that can and will inspire more and more people to follow and start demanding change.