Many people believe that pollution is changing the climate and might even be destroying the world. This week, the United Nations – a group that encourages different countries to work together – held a meeting to discuss climate change. At the same time, students across the world are skipping school to protest damage to the environment.
Global Climate Strikes
From September 20-27, students around the world are walking out of school in protest that not enough is being done to fight climate change. Kids and the adults who support the strikes hope to inspire lawmakers to pass laws that limit pollution.
Not everybody supports these global protests. Some don’t believe that climate change is a problem at all. Still others support the belief but not the action, feeling either that the students shouldn’t skip school for protests or that the lawmakers won’t change their minds.
UN Climate Summit
Leaders from around the world met Monday, September 23, for the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Lots of countries and even businesses promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and described their plans for how to achieve it. Those that didn’t have plans yet promised to make them soon.
As GenZ’s Onar Åm has explained, the science isn’t settled on climate change. But since this is the only planet we have to live on, something has to be done about climate change if it turns out to be a real problem. But what? That’s where carbon neutrality comes in. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a chemical in some types of pollution, and too much carbon in the environment may be causing climate change. To be carbon neutral, a country must stop releasing carbon. Any carbon released must be “offset” by making sure that some positive action makes up for the environmental damage. One way of dealing with extra carbon dioxide, for example, is planting more trees.
Will everyone keep the promises made at the UN meeting? If so, will it make the difference climate activists hope it will? And finally, does it matter? These are the questions to keep in mind over the next few years.