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The Upcoming UN Climate Change Conference

Let's get into it, y’all.  Into the thick of it we go.

Beginning on Sunday and running through the 12th of November, the UN will be meeting in Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th annual UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).  Delegates from all over the world will be congregating to accelerate the particulars of the Paris Agreement (If you don’t know what that is, you can read up on it here), and to discuss the imminent dangers of climate change that we face as a planet.

A few goals of the conference include global collaborations in more drastic reduction of emissions and pollution, presentations of countries’ plans to reduce emissions/increase resilience in truncated timelines in the coming years, the rallying of financial support towards worldwide goals of keeping planetary warming within 1.5 degrees(C)  or less in the next 10 years (compared to preindustrial times), and to finalize the Paris Rulebook.  Again, if you don’t know why that 1.5 degrees C is a metric that matters, you can get more information about it here.

Essentially, from a climate change perspective, we’re in big trouble. With the current planetary warming trajectory that we are on, we have been warming at an average rate of about .032 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1981.  What this means, essentially, is that we are on track to literally cook ourselves and our environment. The 10 hottest years ever on record in human history have occurred since 2005. A recently updated and released climate report from the UN points to humans as the unequivocal harbingers of the ever worsening climate. It's our fault-- and if there’s gonna be a habitable Earth for the children, it's our responsibility to give a damn, get and stay informed, and do our part to help keep the planet habitable.

There’s plenty more of the nitty gritty you can read about climate change, and that isn’t the point of today’s post, necessarily.  While it may seem dry and inconsequential, the UN’s conference is a big deal, and if you pay attention to US politics in any capacity, you’ll know that our dear America is showing up to the conference with not a lot to offer in the way of positive contribution.  

Despite being a global power, the US is honestly doing only a fraction of what we are capable of doing to reduce the harmful effects of climate change. The multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill that is getting passed back and forth through congress right now had a fair amount of legislation in it that was intended to make some more aggressive, shortened timelines for certain emissions targets in America (ie, in line with many other countries who are part of the Paris Agreement). However, because of senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (WV and AZ, respectively), the bill contains a fraction of what it did, still isn’t passed, and ol’ Gramps Joe Biden is showing up to Glasgow with less than originally hoped for in terms of how and what America will do to abide by the Paris Agreement. It’s pretty disappointing, if climate change is one of your “hot button issues.”  

If any part of that went over your head, it’s cool.  There’s * a lot * of information to absorb and unpack, and a lot of things that are connected to one another.  Our point this week is to hopefully inspire curiosity to get more informed, especially if you don’t yet have a clear idea of this whole, y’know, climate change thing.  With the COP26 beginning on Sunday, it’d be a wonderful time to get curious enough to follow along with the happenings of the conference.  There’s a very detailed overview of it here. There are countless other movements around this time of year intended to bring more attention to climate change, and the global actions being taken to combat its effects.  

That’s what we have for you this week. We know, it’s a lot.... As our beloved Brene Brown would say, “stay awkward, brave and kind.” Get curious, give a damn, and learn what you can asap about climate change.  We only get one Earth!

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