What Happened at the UN Climate Conference - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

Dozens of representatives from all over the world descended on the UN Climate Conference in mid-November, where French President Emmanuel Macron challenged Europe to “replace America” in financing major pushes toward keeping Earth’s climate safe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised U.S. governors and mayors who are working to lower their communities’ greenhouse gas emissions – and some State Department officials are currently working on strengthening the Paris climate change agreement.

Environmental activist Kumi Naidoo of South Africa told George David Banks, a White House Official, “U.S. policies are killing our people.”

He wasn’t the only one.

Canada’s environmental minister Catherine McKenna said, “The world just doesn’t have time to wait for the United States to decide what it’s doing. We’re moving on.”

A relatively small number of American diplomats even bothered attending the summit, particularly in comparison to previous years. The Trump White House sent 48 people, while China sent 81 and Canada sent 161.

The talks, meant to help governments make progress on a lofty goal of keeping the global average temperature rise below 2°C (that’s 3.6°F), led head of the UN’s environment program Erik Solheim to say, “One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future.”

The whole world is incredibly off-course to reach the goal, which scientists say isn’t enough anyway. However, Britain has rapidly begun phasing out coal power over the past two years, and China has canceled plans for more than 100 coal plants to invest in solar, wind and nuclear power resources instead.

What Do You Think?

Do you think the U.S. should focus on reducing carbon emissions to help the world meet its goal of keeping Earth’s global temperature increase under 2°C? Are you familiar with the things that will happen if the world fails to meet the goal? I’d love to hear your opinion, so please feel free to share it on my Facebook page or on my Twitter feed.

Carlos Gamino