This decade was the warmest decade on record. The world officially warmed 1 degree above pre-industrial levels, which means that we are already more than halfway to the temperature limits of 1.5 to 2 degrees, as set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. A lot of people are starting to connect the dots: that record setting weather events and its complex repercussions on nature and society are because of climate change, and its underlying force is the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In the last 10 years, many people around the world woke up to the reality that world is facing a climate emergency. Climate action has exploded, especially among youth activists. With scientists issuing stronger warnings, global attention to the problem is growing, especially shown by the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Though governments, businesses and individuals are claiming to orient themselves towards sustainability, action taken has been far from enough.
What is the Paris Agreement?
In 2015, world leaders signed a landmark environmental accord that aims to limit global temperature increase in this century to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels through a reduction of emissions. The agreement states that all countries must set “nationally determined contributions” to progressively reduce emissions, and that developed nations should assist developing ones in mitigation and adaptation efforts. At present, 197 nations have signed onto the Agreement, but its future is uncertain, with Donald Trump preparing a US withdrawal.