2015 Climate Summit



The logo of the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Daniela Quijano, Manging Editor

The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) took place in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, where world leaders discussed climate issues and viable solutions. The expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C.

The first World Climate Conference took place in 1979. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was drafted, and entered into force in 2005. What the protocol entails is the reduction of carbon emissions worldwide by 5%. A total of 83 countries had signed the Kyoto Protocol. Every year the COP is held as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Building a “Paris Climate Alliance” is the main goal for the conference and is made up of four main points.

Obama discussing the importance of action regarding climate change.
Obama discussing the importance of action regarding climate change.
  1. Establishing rules to reach a maximum of 2 degrees of change.
  2. Each country must present their contributions.
  3. Low Carbon emission economies will be planned.
  4. Strengthening of commitment of civil society“.

During the summit, Barack Obama announced that the United States would work to reduce greenhouse emissions. The fact that a U.S. president agreed to fight climate change was a significant achievement, since it is one of the countries that hasn’t signed the Kyoto Protocol.

“Look what is going on in [the People’s Republic of China]. There is so much smog that people aren’t able to breathe. The same thing will happen to us if we don’t switch to alternative energy sources such as…nuclear energy,” senior Christopher Crawford said.

"Paris Marches for the Climate!"
“Paris Marches for the Climate!”

All over the world, people gathered to show their support for the topics discussed in the summit. By taking off their shoes and laying them in public places, they hoped to bring awareness to the future generations that will inherit this planet and should not have to deal with a pollution-ridden world. The biggest gathering of people occurred in Paris in front of La Place de la Republique.

In essence, climate change is finally being take seriously. Conferences like COP21 and public demonstrations of concern show that slowing down climate change may be a possibility is everyone works together.