Save The Planet Column: Saving the Planet in 2021

2020 was a disaster for environmental progress: Many movements were canceled or delayed due to the pandemic. How will the upcoming year compare?


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash. Protestor walking by with a sign that states “Planet over Profit.”

As the new year approaches, people are beginning to wonder whether or not there will be greater efforts from our world leaders to move towards a better, more sustainable, and carbon-neutral future. Last year, world leaders had to turn their attention to combating the spread of COVID-19 and were unable to pursue their plans for the disease of the dying planet. What will they do to make up for their efforts last year? What are their plans for this year? 


Last year marked the 25th year anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was supposed to result in a meeting of the leaders in the agreement (referred to as COP 26). The COP 26, according to , has organized to take place in Glasgow, United Kingdom due to its experience, commitment to sustainability, and world-class facilities. The COP 26 meeting was created in order to reunite the international government every 5 years to further cut emissions, to establish temperature regulation criteria, review progress made in the previous 5 years, and plan their financial contribution to assist developing countries in their battles against climate change. 


Moreover, China, the largest emitter globally, is beginning to take the climate crisis more seriously and begin its contribution to the battle. Though China isn’t a part of the Paris peace treaty, last year it was reported that they are going to head towards Carbon Neutrality by 2060. Details are scheduled to be released in 2021. 


In addition to COP 26 taking place and China releasing its carbon neutrality plan, things are also looking good for the United States in 2021. This year, after Joe Biden’s election victory and, alongside him his climate plan, the US is expected to be put back into the Paris treaty agreement. Hopefully, the US will no longer be the second largest global emitter. However, the only thing holding back the US is Congress. If Biden is not able to successfully pass the plethora of bills that are needed for his climate plan to be fully executed, he may not be able to bring any change to the United States and its work on climate change. 


Overall, this year is beginning to provide people with some hope for the climate, as it may be the turning point for international carbon agreements.