Hot in Herre
Do you remember doing Model UN in high school? Yeah, me neither. But I would imagine it is a little like the drama-filled thriller that they show on TV.
So basically a rip roarin’ good time and then you head home for some cookies and pot-roast, I'm guessing. However, beginning on November 30th and ending today, the real United Nations have been meeting to talk about climate change and these outcomes will do more than improve your college application!
The aim of this meeting is to create a “Paris Climate Alliance” able to keep the global temperatures from rising 3.6°F (2°C) above pre-industrial levels (before 1880) and to equip society for changes that may come. The people running the show, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), are comprised of 195 countries and over 40,000 delegates. The Conference of Parties (COP21) will produce a legally-binding agreement that will be…
- Universal - We’re all in this together
- Ambitious - To reach the goal, the finance-focused people will receive signals to prepare for effects of low carbon emissions on the economy
- Flexible - Each country’s individual needs and circumstances will be taken into consideration
- Balanced between fixing problems and adapting to change - Finding resources to finance the change and technologies to make it happen is crucial
- Lasting and Dynamic - Basically, making sure the goal is attainable and maybe even go below the 3.6°F (2°C) level.
“But why should I care? My spouse/parent/roommate hardly even notices when I change the thermostat 3 degrees!” Well, little differences make big changes on a global scale. Between the last ice age and now, the average global temperature has risen by only 9°F (5°C). And the temperature has already risen 1.5°F (0.85°C) since 1880! Around this 3.6°F (2°C) threshold, climate change researchers believe that super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions, and acidic oceans may make life extremely difficult for humans, plants, and animals. In addition, if you live in the European Union, China, India, or the good ol' US of A, life may look a bit different as big reductions in fossil fuel emissions will be required to reach the goal.
The exact specifications of the document are being ironed out right now. Drafting and negotiations are set to be finished by noon (ET), but disagreements may cause the finalization to spill into the weekend. Also, if you cannot wait for March Madness or are doing horribly in fantasy football, there is an up-to-date bracket of the issues that have yet to be resolved. Ladies and gentlemen, start your educated guessing!
As a citizen of Earth, these decisions will most likely affect you. So call your parents, bake yourself some cookies, and get stoked to hear how your life is about to change!
UPDATE 12/11/15 7:00 AM: During a press conference, COP21 President Laurent Fabius says the text will be available tomorrow at 3 AM (ET).