Stephen Obiri Agyei
3 min readNov 9, 2022

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The Choice is Ours to fight Climate Change

“We have the power to act or the power to remain passive and do nothing.”

Photo of World Leaders in Egypt at COP27 by WWD

I have become an ardent follower of the climate change conferences. I wrote an article about COP 26 in Glasgow, when, as usual, the leaders gathered to pledge their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This year, world leaders have once again gathered for COP 27 in Egypt, Africa, the continent where we are seeing the massive negative impact of climate change, to regurgitate their willingness and desire to reduce the carbon emissions.

The UN General Secretary, António Guterres, created a very grim and dire situation about the climate change crises. “The answer is in our hands. The clock is ticking”, he said while addressing world leaders in Egypt.

According to the Global Climate Change Report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric, 2021 was the sixth-warmest month year on record for the globe. The Earth is now about 1.1 °C warmer than it was in the 1800s. We are not on track to meeting the Paris Agreement target to keep global temperature from exceeding 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, didn’t mince words at all, in addressing the world leaders of their indifferent posture to reducing the carbon emissions.

“We have the power to act or the power to remain passive and do nothing. I ask the people of the world to hold us accountable and to act in your name to save this earth and to save the people of this world. The choice is ours. The talk must come to an end”, PM Mottley declared at the summit.

Barbados has set up a fund to tackle the effects of climate change. In her address last year, she vehemently told the leaders that “we should not fail the people who elected us”. She came to this year’s summit to report about the steps she is taking in her country to help her people in the fight against climate change.

In 2019, the young climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, sailed from Sweden to New York to tell world leaders about how their lack of political will and indifference toward the climate change issues was jeopardy to the future generation.

What is the significance of these gatherings when there is no effort on the part of our leaders to solve the existential threat of our planet? Are they just there to be seen and counted as present?

We should all be concerned about the debilitating effect on our beautiful planet.

According to the UN, climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. The impact is already harming health through air pollution, disease, extreme weather events, forced displacement, food insecurity and pressures on mental health. Every year, environmental factors take the lives of around 13 million people.

The leaders will not be there in the future to witness the harm their inactions today are going to affect the youth and the future generations tomorrow.

We don’t need hollow promises not backed by actions. The youth want leaders who will be true to their commitment. We made the choice to elect you, and we demand that you save our planet from this catastrophic effect of climate change.

COP 28 should be a report from our leaders of their progress to mitigating and reducing the carbon emissions to net-zero degree. Yet, our leaders have not seen the need to make long-lasting commitment to help protect the earth from the glooming danger of climate change as well as save the future generation of an environmental apocalypse.

The Choice is Ours. We should Act Now to save our planet.

References

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Global Climate Report for Annual 2021, published online January 2022, retrieved on November 8, 2022 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202113

NBC News (2021). United Nations Climate Action Summit. Retrieved on November 8, 2022 from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/read-greta-thunberg-s-full-speech-united-nations-climate-action-n1057861

United Nations Climate Action (2022). Climate Action Fast Facts. Retrieved on November 8, 2022 from https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/science/key-findings#temperature-rise

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Stephen Obiri Agyei

Stephen Obiri Agyei is a versatile writer and an avid reader. He loves writing on a wide range of topics. He loves to share quality content with his friends.