UN Warms Up to Climate Change

Climate Change is a widely debated and controversial topic that has risen to particular prominence this year with the coverage of the political debates and the resulting trending topics on social media.

Climate Change is a very polarizing issue on which many individuals have deep-seated opinions; however, the central issue is how quickly and how deeply it affects our world. The effects of climate change are currently being discussed at the 2015 World Climate Change Conference in France.

The United Nations has begun the quest to solve the severe international problem of global climate change. Based on newfound evidence and scientific research, there have been many additions to the information we have about the problem.

The beginning to these warnings started with the ocean levels rising, the snow coverage decreasing, erratic weather conditions and, most typical and widely known, the temperature of the Earth increasing. The temperature of the Earth is the major issue at this year’s conference.

“I believe in global climate change because data is hard to ignore, and there is so much data supporting [climate change]. There are 7 billion [people] on Earth emitting greenhouse gases, and science has proven that there is global climate change due to that,” said AP Environmental Science teacher Ms. Mongano.

The World Climate Change Conference originated in Geneva in 1979. The conference consisted of the push for the research and logistics about the issues regarding climate change; however, by the second conference, the community established a sector to the United Nations. This sector is known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The UNFCC initiated a wider involvement, making climate change a focus not just for scientists, but for the world.

In previous meetings, the UNFCC has created a resolution to the issue, known as the Kyoto Protocol. This international agreement came into play in 1997, but was not adapted until 2008, which raised some concern as to why it took so long to implement a plan towards change.

The agreement consisted of three mechanisms that would apply to many countries. First, the International Emissions trading created “target emissions” for many nations to stay within the agreement. Second, the Clean Development mechanism allowed large nations to implement the first mechanism to developing countries. Lastly, the Joint Implementation permitted large powerful countries to gain credit for implementing these emission reduction plans. The first session of commitment finished from 2008 through 2012, although there is talk to bring it back into effect by year 2020.

“Global Warming or Global Climate Change has been an issue for so long. [The fact] that these important nations are just starting to get involved is ridiculous,” said sophomore Alim Ringgold Cordes.

This year’s event is to be held through Dec. 11, 2015 in Le Bourget, France. Important nations that plan to attend include China, the United States, European countries and India. These nations are highlighted this year because they are the main contributors of emissions, together producing 90% of the emissions released into the world.

“I was recently informed about the Climate Change Conference, and I think it’s cool,” said junior Shemira Boynes. “However, I think it is a waste of time. There is nothing our politicians can do that will help all of us as one body.”

Hopefully, these powerful and influential countries are successful in achieving their goals to improve the world’s growing problem of climate change.

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