Newsday Tuesday – Climate Deal in Paris: How Did It Go?


December 22, 2015

We’ve talked quite a bit about the Climate Conference in Paris held earlier this month with #EarthToParis and #COP21. Perhaps you’re wondering, how did it go and what’s next?

This isn’t the first time world leaders have gotten together to discuss climate change, but this was a different take on the discussion: instead of talking about past mistakes, the focus was on how to move forward, to explore creative energy solutions and keep global temperatures from rising.

Picture of COP21

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon delivers remarks at the closing ceremony of COP21. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The good news

World leaders committed to a shift toward clean energy, and collectively more than 180 countries agreed to keep global temperature increases below 2 Celcius. The methods of getting there vary from country to country, even city to city. However advances in technology and an ever larger group of influential and financial supporters will assist in the efforts.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks explains, “In the coming decades the world will have to say goodbye to coal, oil, and gas,” as reported by National Geographic. Businesses and cities have pledged to cut their carbon emissions (carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, produced by vehicles and industrial processes). Renewable and clean energy alternatives are increasingly being used, such as solar and wind energy.

In the coming decades the world will have to say goodbye to coal, oil, and gas.

An article from Business Insider shares a portion of inventor and investor, Elon Musk’s talk in earlier this month, discussing this energy shift: “ … [I]f the only thing we had was solar energy … if you just took a small section of Spain, you could power all of Europe. It’s a very small amount of area that’s actually needed to generate the electricity we need to power civilization, or in the case of the U.S., a little corner of Nevada or Utah, power the entire United States.”

Here’s a video that quickly covers what was discussed, why it’s important, and what we can expect and do:

Take Action Challenge

  • You can read the full articles (from National Geographic and Business Insider) to learn more details about what was discussed in Paris, and the decisions made for different areas in the world.
  • Check out the full recap of the Earth To Paris event on Storify and promote it on your social networks.
  • Contact your representatives in Congress and let them know you support federal funding for President Obama’s clean energy agenda as part of a commitment to a cleaner, healthier planet and future.

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