Dominica’s Petit Journal: Can COP21 Save the Planet?

Dominica’s Petit Journal: Can COP21 Save the Planet?

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COP21
Pollution hanging over the city of Paris early morning. © Alexis Duclos for INSPIRELLE

WHAT’S THE BITE?

Current commitments from governments on greenhouse gas emissions run out in 2020. What does this mean? It means that unless pollution is reduced, the world will pass a temperature threshold beyond which global warming becomes catastrophic and irreversible. In a nutshell, the world might self-combust if the temperature keeps rising.

© Tom Wang/Shutterstock
© Tom Wang/Shutterstock

So what’s being done about this? France is hosting COP21: the United Nations Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties. It’s a generic name for an event that has the potential to reap innumerable benefits for the world. Since this summer, Paris has been serving as an international platform for climate-related initiatives and events.

Nearly 100 partners are showcasing both French and international know-how in the fields of innovation and energy transition. Take a walk by the River Seine and, after enjoying a cocktail at an outdoor bar, stop at one of the pop-up stands to see how you – yes you, one person – can make simple changes at home that have a positive effect on the environment.

ALSO READ: COP21 People Power: 10 Ways to Join the Climate Conversation

COP21
© Tom Wang/Shutterstock

WHY DO WE CARE?

Global warming led to a late and awkward start for French summer fashion, since an entire season was skipped due to the incremental weather. As a result, shops had flash sales left and right – great for shoppers but awful for designers. To avoid another such calamity, help the emaciated polar bears gain weight, and reduce even more dangerous climate change repercussions, world leaders will meet in Paris to attempt to reach an agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Oh, and 190 government representatives (plus their entourage) will be need to eat drink and be merry, reaping great gains for the food and beverage industry in Paris.

And oh – again – without a clean environment and cooler earth, we are doomed for disaster.

COP21
© Kanvag/Shutterstock

WHY DON’T OTHERS CARE?

Science and facts can be intimidating, and more so when politicians manipulate, misquote and reject them. In fact, if you listen to #DonaldTrump you might believe the “concept of global warming was created by the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” Other people hope that the problem of global warming will poof-whoosh disappear like magic if they ignore it. A third issue is that caring for the environment costs money. On a macro level, governments don’t want to foot the bill for poorer nations. On a micro level, let’s be honest: families don’t want to pay more for environmentally-friendly laundry detergent or toilet paper when the Monoprix brand is cheaper.

COP21
© devilfire369/Shutterstock

HOW DOES IT IMPACT US IN THE LAND OF CROISSANTS?

How many of us see and feel the veil of pollution that all too often hangs over Paris, dulling the city of lights? What does mandatory alternative driving tell you about the air we breathe? Does the dog’s waste – ignored on the street – eventually end up in water sources after passing through the city storm drains?

Let’s face it: everyone is vulnerable to environmental disarray and even things as seemingly minor as tossed cigarette butts have repercussions. Cities generate nearly 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. We can’t ignore that the towns, cities and countries of the world are connected and impacted by the actions of our neighbors. Having the COP21 meeting hosted in Paris is a pivotal moment since France will be positioned as a driver of change, mobilizing Parisians in favor of environmental projects.

Let’s hope that some of the 50,000 COP 21 participants are wearing Superman undershirts beneath their suits.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, click here for 10 climate-friendly habits. And share with us ways to keep our earth cleaner.

Have an Opinion? Ideas? Start a Conversation!

We’d love to hear your opinions on what you’ve read, or ideas you want to share with others. Please use the comments box below this article to start a conversation!

Dominica Drazal
Raised in the Middle East by Eastern European parents, Dominica Drazal was surrounded by rich cultural, socio-economic and religious diversity. Travels throughout her childhood stimulated a fascination for cultures, languages and geopolitics. While she fumbled with accidental arrogance, her parents patiently encouraged her to be humble and open-minded. She has worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas in diverse roles (investments, micro-finance, marketing, and business development) and currently is freelancing. Fluent in five languages, Dominica completed a degree in Marketing and History, a Masters in International Affairs from Fletcher (Tufts), and is currently studying digital marketing with Duke University. She is fascinated by the dynamism, controversy and free spirit found in France where she now lives with her son and husband.

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