We Are Still In: Standing By the Paris Climate Agreement
In 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement became one of the biggest moments in our fight against climate change. Countries all over the world made an agreement to reduce their greenhouse gases and to commit themselves to the fight against climate change. Since then many of them have made great progress in their goals, with some countries going so far as planning to reach their goals ahead of schedule. In the daunting face of climate change, the Paris Climate Agreement symbolized and manifested the world coming together to working towards finding a solution to environmental crisis and hope for the future.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump pulled the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, and left many US citizens feeling embarrassed. It seemed like it would be yet another blow to the United State’s position as a forward thinking nation, but citizens decided to take action. In a startling reversal of the president’s words, they sent a powerful message back to the world: “We Are Still In!”
That message has since spread from the war cry of a few scattered businesses and states, to a national movement encompassing almost 2,000 businesses, 10 states, 272 cities or counties, and 9 tribes. All total, these people represent more than half of all Americans.
Those who want to be part of the social movement can sign up at the “We Are Still In” website. There, they can make an agreement for their state, business, or other body of people, to keep to the agreements set in the climate agreement.
Many of the organizations that have done so have already seen success in their goals. As an example Minnesota, the first and so far only midwest state to join the movement, is already making great strides toward their goals. They officially joined the movement in 2017, but have been working on the clean energy sector for over a decade now. They set a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, and are already half way to their goal.
Walmart, one of the largest retail chains in the nation, has also joined the agreement.Most of their carbon footprint doesn’t come from their own stores, but from the supply chain they get their products from. In an effort to be more sustainable, they are challenging the suppliers that fill their shelves to help them remove up to one gigaton of greenhouse gases from being created in the next 15 years. This is a huge goal, and a great one.
Their plan is backed by trying to figure out scientific ways to reduce their emissions, and through their influence have already convinced several suppliers to not only reduce their impact, but have inspired a few to go as far as going completely carbon neutral.
These efforts are just two examples of many thousands of groups who are each striving in their own way to meet the Paris Climate Agreement. These states, companies, and organizations have realized how important climate change is, and are taking steps toward changing the future of the planet to be a better one. With rising ocean levels making it a reality for entire countries to disappear in the next few years, the timing of these efforts has never been more critical.
As more and more Americans sign on to this agreement, we can hope that our efforts will help change the future. The United States might be “out” of the Paris Agreement, but as for the people, “We are still in!”