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COP21 Agreement Reached

​On Saturday, the 196 countries participating in the 21st Conference of Parties, reached an agreement to abandon fossil fuels this century and stop global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. 

While President Obama praised the agreement and called it “a turning point for the world” and “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have," many environmental experts believe the agreement carries little weight as it doesn’t bind countries to meet their climate targets.

Professor James Hansen, a leading environmental activist told the The Guardian that this agreement calls for no action just promises and believes it is pointless unless greenhouse gas emissions aren’t taxes across the board.

John D. Sutter, a CNN opinion columnist and creator of the network’s “2 degrees” project, agrees with Hansen and says a number of actions must be taken for this agreement to have purpose. Sutter says ending fossil fuel subsidies, taxing carbon pollution and investing in greener technologies are crucial steps to make COP21 meaningful.

While corporations will need to lead the way for climate change on a global level, there are a number of things individuals can do on a daily basis to help fight global warming:

  • Instead of driving, when possible, walk or ride a bike.
  • Switch to CFL or LED bulbs to save electricity and turn off lights when not in use.
  • Buy local. This cuts down on the carbon emissions of the vehicles used to transport goods.
  • Plant a tree. 
  • Choose energy-efficient products and appliances.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle.