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A Climate in Crisis

Climate change has been a buzzing topic since the 1970s when activism related to climate change began and the UN Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) in Stockholm took place. The UNCHE identified the need for states to work together to combat the global effects of climate change. 

In September of 2019, climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN Climate Action Summit and once again, climate change came into the spotlight at the UN. It has always been a topic of interest, but Thunberg made environmental issues a household topic and brought the fight for change to teenagers and young adults.

Throughout these past few years, there has been more and more of a push for individual change. Passionate activists advocate for proper recycling, buying greener products, and an increase in transportation that has less carbon emissions. As crucial as these all are and how important it is to take accountability for what you can contribute, putting the pressure on individuals rather than the corporations who are the main contributors to climate change ignores the root of the issue. 

“Since 1988, just 100 companies have been responsible for 71 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to this, only 25 corporations and state-owned organizations were found to be responsible for over 50 percent of the global industrial emissions during the same time period,” reported a University of Manchester publication. By putting the majority of responsibility on the individual, you make it easy for these companies to dodge blame.

“Some corporations have advocated for cleaner energy through their advertisements, but how much of this is just to try to make themselves look good? Oil and gas company BP spent millions advertising their cleaner natural gas, and low-carbon energy in 2019. When in reality, over 96 percent of their annual funds were still being spent on oil and gas,” wrote the University of Manchester publication. Even companies that claim to support cleaner productions have an ulterior motive, making it almost impossible to trust them even if you’re trying to buy from sustainable sources.

For real change to be made, it is essential that corporations are held responsible for their large part in the climate crisis. The blame for the state the planet is currently in should be on them rather than the everyday individual.

3 thoughts on “A Climate in Crisis

  • Joyce J

    Very well said.

  • Karene H

    Well said!

  • Roberta Hargis

    I am excited to see our young people speak up and become part of bringing awareness to what the big corporations are doing to our planet.

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