As I arrived at the Féria de Madrid metro station on the Saturday before the opening of the annual United Nations climate summit (referred to as COP 25), I was struck by the signage in the exit tunnel. “17.2 MILLION PEOPLE LEAVING THEIR HOMES BECAUSE OF CLIMATE DISASTERS IS NOT A CHANGE,” one graphic read. Another said “MIAMI DISAPPEARING UNDER THE SEA IS NOT A CHANGE;” a third read “40% OF THE ANTARCTICA ICE MELTING IS NOT A CHANGE.” All of them had the same tag line next to them: “DON’T CALL IT CHANGE, CALL IT CLIMATE EMERGENCY.” This was my first indication of how intent the Chilean COP 25 presidency was on driving home the theme of the climate summit, “time for action.”
December 5, 2019 4:47 PM EDT
A recent UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report warns that the world will miss the opportunity to stay on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal in the Paris Agreement unless global emissions drop by 7.6 percent each year over the next decade. The report notes that solutions to reduce carbon emissions are available, and meeting our goals is possible, but we are not acting fast enough or at a large enough scale.
Instead of action, the Trump Administration is formally taking steps to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. For this reason, it’s more important than ever for states and cities to address the climate crisis–and many of them are doing their part. Youth around the country are doing much of the work and filling the void left by the executive branch. Read more >