Why 2020 is a Big Year for Climate Change

Illustration by Maria Arvizu Segura

As we enter into the new decade, climate change and global warming are quickly becoming major concerns for many people across the planet, and the effects of global warming and climate change are being talked about more than ever. 

2020 is a key year for the efforts to stop climate change. This year is the first since the Paris Agreement that countries will come together to assess what they’ve been able to do in regards to carbon emissions and what else they have left to do. 

As of 2019, 187 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement. However, Donald Trump announced in 2017 that the US would be withdrawing from the agreement. This withdrawal can take effect the day after the 2020 election. 

That possible exit is also why 2020 is such an important year for the climate change movement. The US is the second largest emitter of carbon in the world, making the national presidential election international news. 

While the Paris Agreement would reduce carbon emissions, they would only be reduced to three degrees Celsius by 2030 instead of the ideal 1.5 degrees. To reduce the emissions by this much in ten years, the greenhouse gas emissions will have to go down by 7 percent every year, something that will be difficult to achieve. 

Major carbon emissions come from developing countries who are going through their industrial revolutions that developed countries previously went through. While this industrialization does quicken climate change, this has raised the question of whether or not it is fair to deny these developing countries the same, economically beneficial processes that other countries have gone through.

“I would hope that from our government standpoint that we get in a more productive place towards climate change. The wealthy people and wealthier nations contribute so much more than the bottom percentile of people,” said Emery Hoos, CHS senior, and one of the leaders of the Green Team.

At Carrboro High School, the Green Team is a club that is working on promoting sustainability and awareness about climate change within the school itself. 

Many people have pessimistic attitudes about climate change and the future of the planet, however, Hoos doesn’t think this is a productive mindset to have.

“We need to get involved and realize how quickly things are going downhill so we can make a difference,” she said. 

2020 is going to be a big year for fighting climate change, but the Covid-19 pandemic will make it harder for world leaders to communicate and to meet about climate change, as the health of their countries has taken more of the spotlight. The pandemic itself has affected climate change, as levels of air pollution have gone down significantly in places that have stay-at-home orders or are quarantined.

If anything, the pandemic has shown how much humans influence climate change and global warming, which world leaders should take into account when they meet, whether that be in person or virtually.

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Ella Terry is a managing editor for the Jagwire. She’s a junior and this is her second year on the staff. She is an avid reader and loves cats and all things Harry Potter. She loves to bake and thoroughly enjoyed the release of Frozen 2.

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