Less Talk, More Action
(Photo : WWF Climate & Energy via Twitter) Scientists and climate activists demand accountability from countries and corporations that largely contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

The recent climate summit concluded in a not so promising note as the scheduled 12-day summit dragged on for an extra two days and nothing concrete was ever decided. However, the message from scientists and the people is clear across the planet: the dire effects of climate change are fast approaching, and we need to act now.

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WHAT HAD TRANSPIRED IN THE RECENT CLIMATE SUMMIT?

What irks people about this recently concluded summit is that concrete actions from governments have been painfully slow and inadequate. It seems what only happened was a discussion that merely highlighted the obvious -- that the world's biggest polluting countries are disconnected to the demands of the global community for change.

In their defense, the negotiators in Madrid worked overnight to create a rulebook with regards to cutting greenhouse gas emissions before 2020 arrives and when signatories must start meeting the targets. However, despite having a 2-day extension, observers -- scientists and climate activists alike -- called the summit and the agreement a failure. 

The problem doesn't have the agreement but the lack of political will and decisive language to implement these changes. For scientists and climate activists, the crisis was somehow watered-down and sugarcoated. In a press release issued by climate campaign group 350.org, executive director May Boeve said, "as time ran out, the COP looked more like a hostage situation inside a burning building -- together with most negotiators, people, and planet were held captive." In this strong statement, she added that the fuel industry got what they wanted: a weak document that slowly pours the issue down the drain.

On the other hand, the World Resources Institute agreed to that statement. In an article written by CNN, she said, "there is no sugarcoating it, the negotiations fell far short of what was expected. Instead of leading the charge for more ambition, most of the large emitters were missing in action or obstructive."

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HOW DIRE IS THE SITUATION REGARDING THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE?

It really didn't help that the United States President Donald Trump makes threats of not honoring the Paris Agreement in the fight against the climate crisis and that the country has been sending mixed signals at the conference. For instance, negotiators from the United States are blocking progress on some issues while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi established a 15-member Congressional delegation to assure the country's participation in achieving the goals for a better environment. In effect, countries that contribute largely to carbon dioxide emissions are not taking the conference and the call for change seriously as well. 

However, on the bright side, there are still countries that are actively fighting for this cause and mostly, they are the developing countries and island nations. Eighty governments were able to commit to bringing enhanced climate to the next conference, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. 

The sugarcoating and the obvious lack of plan or action from the governments of the world's top carbon contributors are making scientists and climate activists frustrated. In an interview with CNN, Hilda Flavia Nakabuye told CNN that when trying to talk to people who are causing climate change, they won't listen, and it will feel like a waste of time. But she will not stop. She had first-hand experience with the hazards brought by climate change when torrential rains destroyed her family's crops and the following drought forced them to sell their land and livelihood. She was only 10 years old. "I am the voice of dying children, displaced women, and people suffering at the hands of the climate crisis created by rich countries," she said at the conference. "Voices from the global south deserve to be heard. We are humans who do not deserve to suffer a crisis that we did not create."

ACTIONS FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION

Meanwhile, the European Union proudly declares that its greenhouse gas emissions were down by 23% since 1990. Before the decade ends, the European Union is set out to do a drastic overhaul in its economy with the release of the European Green Deal set out by the new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

The European Green Deal encompasses all aspects of the economy, including how food is grown and how people will travel. According to von der Leyen, the comprehensive European Green Deal aims of a healthier economic growth as well as leading the world on climate action, proposing a target of net-zero carbon by 2050 and cutting the emissions by 2030 approaches.

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