COP 21: A Blessing in Disguise

Gavin Gondalwala, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Called “the most ambitious climate change agreement in history,” by President Obama, while still criticized as one of the least progressive–the UN Conference on Climate Change has set forth regulations for a greener tomorrow.


Signed Saturday in Paris, this resolution, despite the achievements reached, fails to consider the punishments for reaching goals, and how much gas output must be reduced to consider these goals met. Also, a concern is brought to the table in the fact that countries must restate higher goals every five years. The question arises as to how we are supposed to sustain day-to-day life with less power.


However unclear the exact guidelines maybe, the final aim of reducing global surface temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, is extremely clear. Within these goals, the involved countries pledge to fund more Solar Energy Farms and even projects that promote wasteless nuclear power. Such projects include the Gates TerraPower Reactor, which pledges to use depleted Uranium in a constant loop to provide wasteless energy with no emissions other than water vapor.


With over 150 countries in agreement on the deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions, collectively, they have pledged over $100 billion to help developing countries meet these deadlines. Despite the mass involvement, however, there is still much contention to the deal–especially when it comes to the GOP. Concerned that this deal will cut jobs in the sectors of coal and natural gas, the true aim of the agreement has been blindly ignored.


These concerns arise in the form of simple harvesting of resources. If this goal is to be met, 85% of the remaining coal and fossil fuels that the earth possesses must be left in the ground–untouched, unburned, unravaged. When asked about these concerns, however, AP Environmental Science student, Ally Maluf (12), stated that “the coal mining is leading to acid mine drainage and it is hurting more of the ecosystem than you would think.” She also added that she believes the provisions of the bill are enough to help out ecosystems recover and aid in the Clean Air Initiative.


acid mine drainage and it is hurting more of the ecosystem than you would think”

— Ally Maluf


Although people may think that this agreement is now law due to the fact that it was agreed upon, in order for the agreement to be internationally recognized, 55 of the countries that produce the 55% most greenhouse gasses must first ratify this treaty. Obviously a large leap, the legislation is facing opposition from partisanism in the United States and fiscal interests in China. Despite these large challenges, however, the presidents of both the United States and France have declared an optimistic future for the bill.