The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are rising year on year and are currently the highest they've been in 800'000 years.
We continue to release excessive amounts of greenhouse gasses 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 the human race is trying to keep warming below 2 degrees celsius, preferably under 1.5 degrees. Anything over this will have severe damaging effects on the world population. Drought and famine will hit the world's warmer climates much harder than in Ireland. This will cause displacement of millions of people from their homes, with the world struggling to feed its ever-expanding population.
The earth has already warmed 1 degrees celsius from pre-industrial levels. A further warming of 3 degrees 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 which enforces the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in an effort to combat climate change.
The aim of the Paris Climate Agreement is to keep global warming well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which will lead to irreversible damage to the planet. The agreement aims to keep warming around 1.5° Celsius, 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 and India. The United States of America pulled out of the agreement in May of 2017, which was considered a major blow to global climate action.
It is thought that the Paris Climate Agreement is the last chance for the world to work together to avoid catastrophic damage to the earth and all its inhabitants. Click on the link to be taken to the UN website with more details about the agreement.