“We know there will be costs in taking action, but if we were to compare that with the costs of inaction, there is absolutely no comparison, because the impacts of climate change will become progressively more difficult and beyond the scope of our being able to adapt to them. Action has to be taken now.” – IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri
Big emitters like China, the United States, the European Union, India, Russia, Japan, and Canada all need to Play Their Part. Smaller and less developed nations, some of whom face an existentialistic threat posed by climate change, can only do so much. For me, hearing firsthand the pleas for action by delegates from many of the small island nations in the Pacific really puts in perspective how serious climate change is. But, more importantly, it conveys a real sense of urgency for us to act together accordingly.
“We have to act quickly and decisively if we want to avoid increasingly destructive outcomes. But, we do have means to limit climate change and build a better future.” – IPCC Video
My biggest takeaway from Lima is that, while we are dealing with a very serious situation, there is reason for hope. Those that stand to be impacted the most by the adverse effects of climate change are the younger generations of today. At COP20, the youth of the world could definitely be seen and heard, even though we were vastly outnumbered! There were numerous actions and demonstrations by young people throughout the conference. This needs to continue throughout the world, outside of the framework of the United Nations, from discussions with friends at your local coffee shop to small talk around the dinner table, and all the way to COP21 in Paris next year.