World unites to save environment

President Obama attended a conference in Paris on Monday along with a variety of world leaders to discuss climate change. Over 150 leaders gathered to determine what role each country should play to ensure a sustainable tomorrow.

During his speech, Obama admitted the U.S. was partly to blame for the damage inflicted upon the environment. He then reached out to the leaders of every country present to stand with him in seeking a solution to environmental change. 

“I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”

It may have taken an embarrassingly long time for the world to realize the serious consequences wrought by our reckless consumerism, but it is reassuring to know people are beginning to take climate change seriously.

Obama encouraged every leader in attendance to take a hard look at their environmental impact stating, “No nation — large or small, wealthy or poor — is immune.” 

There is no doubt the world will face an untimely end if humans do not seriously alter their affect on the environment. While the knowledge has been widespread for years, this is the first time an agreement of this nature has been made. 

In the next two weeks, nearly every country will have committed to limiting its emissions in an effort to halt or at least severely reduce global warming. Currently, over 170 countries have already submitted their emissions plans, according to the New York Times.

While the world is wracked by violence and cruelty, it is encouraging to witness countries agreeing to put aside their differences to tackle such a crucial issue. 

“What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it,” Obama said.

This worldwide unification is practically unheard of, and the fact that it is occurring to save our planet reestablishes the long forgone faith in humanity. We’ve been surrounded by countless ‘save our planet’ campaigns since we were kids. 

Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth” was part of our middle school curriculum. We have taken the health of our home seriously our entire lives and, according to a poll by the Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft, 76 percent of millennials say they are more focused on the environment than their parent’s generation.

Leaders across the globe have finally decided it is time to make a change. The damage to our environment affects everyone. Whether you live in China, Canada or Antarctica, you are feeling the affect of a damaged ecosystem. I can’t wait to see what the future holds as this new agreement goes into place. 


Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications.