In The News This Week: U.S. And China Leaders Say They Will Work Together To Fight Climate Change

In The News This Week: U.S. And China Leaders Say They Will Work Together To Fight Climate Change

The twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, commenced on October 30th at the SEC Center in Glasgow, Scotland, and is scheduled to end November 12. The conference had been postponed from last year due to the pandemic.

The U.S. and China’s governments on Wednesday released a joint statement on “Enhancing Ambition” on Climate change. The agreement encourages the United States and China – the world’s leaders in greenhouse gas emissions – to strengthen their commitments to slash emissions in the near future.

“We both see that the challenge of climate change is existential and a severe one,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s climate change envoy. “As two major powers in the world, China and the United States, we need to take our due responsibility and work together and work with others in the spirit of cooperation to address climate change.”

John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, said the agreement was a result of numerous meetings between himself and Xie Zhenhua.

“The two largest economies in the world have agreed to raise climate ambition in this decisive decade.”

Allegedly, China has promised to peak greenhouse emissions by 2030, with no firm date set, while American officials are allegedly urging them to confirm an earlier date.

“We’ve had lots of discussions about peaking,” Kerry said. “We’re peaked out on peaking.”

According to a recent scientific report released by the IPCC ( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ) things will only get worse if climate change is not taken seriously and done something about. It may already be too late. Even if every country in the world reduced it’s carbon emissions drastically, global warming is still likely to rise to the 1.5 degree Celsius in about twenty years or more, promising a warmer future.

“We can expect a significant jump in extreme weather over the next twenty to thirty years,” says Piers Forster, who is a climate scientist at the University of Leeds, and who is one of the many experts who helped in producing the report. “Things are, unfortunately, likely to get worse than they are today.”

There would be severe heat waves, water shortages, and certain species of animals and plants today, may be gone.

The conference has had it’s share of controversy, including protests and criticisms. Before the conference even began, Greta Thunberg was asked via interview how optimistic she was of the results of the conference.

“Nothing has changed from previous years, really,” she said. “The leaders will say, ‘we will do this, and we will do that, and we will put our forces together and achieve this,’ and then they will do nothing. Maybe some symbolic things and creative accounting, and things that don’t really have a big impact. We can have as many COP’s as we want, but nothing real will come out of it.”

I’m afraid she might be right.

Sources: the New York Times, https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/ ,http://ipcc.ch/sr15/