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For almost three decades met every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, every country on earth was treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change”, and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way.
On 12 December 2015, the participating 196 countries agreed, by consensus, to the final global pact, the Paris Agreement, to reduce emissions as part of the method for reducing greenhouse gas.
On June 1, 2017, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, contending that the agreement would “undermine” the U.S. economy, and put the U.S. “at a permanent disadvantage.” The withdrawal undermined the universality of the Paris Agreement and impaired states’ confidence in climate cooperation; it aggravated the leadership deficit in addressing global climate issues and set a bad precedent for international climate cooperation.
Conference of the Parties (COP) | UNFCCC
The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.
Joe Biden announced on the first day of his Presidency that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Agreement, and our re-entry took effect in February 2021. This reversed the Trump administration’s withdrawal, which made the U.S. the only country in the world that was not part of the agreement.
President Biden hosted 40 world leaders for a climate summit on Earth Day, an important step to restore U.S. global climate leadership.
Due to Covid-19 the 2020 COP Meetings could not be held. Now May — June 2021 Climate Change Conference, the UN Climate Change subsidiary bodies sessions, are taking place from 31 May to 17 June 2021, and the COP 26 will again take place in November 2021 in Glasgow, UK.
WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE? Is it Real or just “Politics-as-usual”?
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
When we talk about climate change, we are talking about global changes in the Earth’s average temperature. which moves up and down naturally, but it has been increasing more rapidly than it usually does. This change is impacting the planetary environment – everything around us; rivers, lakes, the arctic, the deserts, trees, plants, animals, humans… everything!
Scientists say many of the changes to the Earth’s climate are caused by human activity – this means things that humans are doing.
Some of those things are:
Burning of oil, coal and gas – These resources are called fossil fuels – they are used to power factories, buildings and transportation. When burnt they release substances into the atmosphere, including a gas called carbon dioxide, which trap heat from the sun and warm up the Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect.
Waste – The way waste is disposed of often adds to these harmful emissions. Even food waste creates another greenhouse gas called methane when it rots.
Deforestation and urbanization – Urbanisation is when more people start living in cities, and deforestation is when a forest or tree-covered area is turned into something else (for example a farm or space for houses). Trees help us by absorbing carbon dioxide – but they release it back into the air again when they are cut down.
Population growth – This means the growing number of people in the world. Did you know in 1960 there were only 3 billion people in the world, whereas there are currently more than 7 billion people who all need food to eat and places to live!
How much are temperatures rising by?
Scientists say the world is about one degree Celsius warmer than it was 300 years ago when the Industrial Revolution started and people began to work in factories.
A very influential 2018 report by an international group of scientists said that if the planet’s temperature goes up by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, it will cause huge problems for the planet. Melting ice in places like the Arctic and Antarctic would lead to a rise in the Earth’s sea levels, flooding many coastal areas and islands.
Extreme weather like heatwaves, droughts and storms would happen more often and become more severe.
What Can Average People Do?
PRAY – First and foremost. If you are a person of faith, you might feel a lot like NOAH whose warnings of impending inclement weather were derided, but like NOAH, don’t shut up. Pray. Even if climate change could be stopped TODAY it still will have long term impacts on the very ones Christ instructed He holds us responsible for: each other, the poor, the needy.
GET INFORMED Not many average people could tell you really what climate change is, what the Paris Agreements are about and why 196 countreis are racing to reduce greenhouse emissions. But those answers are easy to find, It’s the solutions that get complicated and is why we ALL need to be involved.
SCIENCE and GOVERNMENT are necessary to set policy and apply the laws of nature (physics) on a large scale. But it takes the grassroots people to DEMAND those policies be affected and that they apply equitably to all populations not just for the favored.
ACCOUNTABILITY Hold yourself, your religious leaders, your government, your scientific community, your tech leaders, your military accountable.
TRUST THE LORD. Contrary to his press, satan did not inherit the earth. It still belongs to the Lord and is a blessing. Don’t despair.
And now abide these three
Ant the greatest of these is LOVe.
GOD IS LOVE.