The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are rising yearly, currently being the highest in 800'000 years.
We continue to release excessive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, trapping the heat of the sun and steadily warming the planet. Any warming will have consequences, and these consequences are not likely to be good.
Currently, we are trying to keep the warming below 2°C, with a more difficult goal of 1.5°C. Anything over this will have severely damaging effects on the world population. Drought and famine will hit the world's warmer climates much harder than in Ireland. This will cause the displacement of millions of people from their homes, with the world struggling to feed its ever-expanding population. Even in Ireland, if recent events become the norm, we will experience a drastic change in our living habits, with food production being particularly at risk. The Emerald Isle may cease to exist as we know it.
The earth has already warmed 1°C from pre-industrial levels. Further warming of 3°C by the end of this century is predicted if we continue at our current rate of CO2 production. Many parts of the planet will become uninhabitable at this point, with irreversible effects.
Paris Climate Agreement
On the 12th of December 2015 at COP 21 in Paris, representative parties from countries around the world decided to introduce and support the Paris Climate Agreement, a legally binding global agreement that enforces the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in an effort to combat climate change.
The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global warming well below 2° Cellcius above pre-industrial levels, which will lead to irreversible damage to the planet. The agreement aims to keep warming around 1.5° Cellcius, which is unavoidable at this stage.
The agreement entered into force on the 4th of November 2016, with 185 countries having ratified it, including Ireland. Ireland’s climate goals are part of EU legislation stemming from the Paris Climate Agreement.
The countries involved comprise some of the biggest polluters in the world including China, India, and the United States.
The Paris Climate Agreement is our last chance to work together and avoid catastrophic damage to the earth. Click on the link to be taken to the UN website with more details about the agreement.