International climate change plans fall short

Basmalla Attia, Advertising Director

The United Nations published a report before the 26th U.N. Climate Conference,also known as COP26, warning countries that more is expected from them after nations updated their pledges toward reducing emissions.Countries updated their climate plans called national contributions to show how far they are willing to go to reduce emissions by 2030.

Under the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change, countries promised to prevent the Earth from warming by more than two degrees Celsius when compared to pre- industrial times, according to The Hill.

However, countries’ updated pledges are nowhere near reaching this target.Instead, a new report from the U.N. states the Earth’s temperature is on track to reach 4.8 degrees Fahrenheit, NPR reported.

According to the U.N. report, this means the updated pledges will only do an incremental improvement of 7.5% by 2030 instead of the desired target of 55% to limit global temperatures to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

This report sends a clear and loud signal that governments must take serious action to address the issues of climate change and provide substantial updates to show progress to the world.

As a world power, the United States’ i actions send off an echo worldwide. Hence, it needs to propose more ambitious goals so many will follow.

Since its relations with nations play a vital role in politics, the United States should also play a role in holding other countries accountable.

President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it will reduce emissions by 2030, compared to 2005 emissions levels. It also sent Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on an international tour to increase support, according to NPR.

For this ambitious plan to be executed, internal issues must be solved.

Similar to how the European Union requires the consent of the 27 member states for its ambitious goals to cut emissions to be enforced, Congress needs to come together to approve major climate legislation, but it struggles to do so.page1image34493888 page1image34488704

Biden hopes the new incentives and tax cuts in the congressional budget willspeed the transition to renewable energy, according to The New York Times. However, with Sen. Joe Manchin’s objection — the policies are in a perilous position.

If countries don’t comply with their updated pledges, the United States should impose sanctions on them. One notable example is China, which is increasing its emissions by burning more coal to meet demand while the world is grappling with ways to reach net zero.

The U.N. report makes it clear that to address this climate crisis, there must be a collaboration between nations, rather than putting the blame on one nation. However, it must be acknowledged when countries aren’t holding up their side of the agreement.

Governments should prioritize the climate change challenge, or else we will be looking at a pessimistic future. The Earth will likely hit 4.8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030, making heat waves 10 times more likely and leaving millions of people along the coastline displaced, according to NPR.

This crisis has reached extreme urgency, especially after temperatures fell in 2020. Due to COVID-19 and its effect on the global economy, nations have turned to fossil fuel to revive their economies, making temperatures increase again.

The Paris Agreement target of staying below two degrees is becoming harder to reach.

The Department of Defense warned that extreme climate change is a national security issue, as disasters fuel human migration and international conflict, according to NPR.

The U.N. report provides useful suggestions for closing the emission gap that governments should take into account. For example, solar and wind energies are cheaper than coal, but the transition isn’t happening fast enough.

It is essential to consider the research findings in this crisis rather than ignore them, or else humanity will head down the wrong road.