Government leaders address climate change from Scotland to Provo

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By Harlee Hunsaker

Big names are making important commitments to help reduce the effects of climate change in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference that is taking place in Scotland.

“Let this be the moment we answer history’s call,” President Joe Biden said at the conference. However, world leaders and experts cannot ignore the grim undertones in every speech. 

 “We are digging our own graves,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Experts say the conference, which is also known as COP26, may be the world’s last best chance to address the climate crisis, but people everywhere are tackling it, including right here in Provo.

“We advise the mayor and city council how to keep the air clean and water pure in Provo,” Provo Mayor’s Sustainability advisor Donald Jarvis said. “We have actually got the city council to mandate that by 2030, 60% of our electricity will come from renewable sources.”

That will include the help from an all-electric City Hall which is expected to be finished by next June. Another way to limit greenhouse gas emissions is by having a yard waste recycling bin so yard waste is composted. Jarvis said only about half of Provo citizen’s use any type of recycling can, but the option is available to everyone. 

Provo even planted 1,000 trees in 2 years, but does any of this actually help slow the effects of climate change?

“It’s kind of like parenthood, nothing you ever do is enough. We still have more to do. But I think our city of Provo sets a good example for other cities in the region,” Jarvis said. “One of my motto’s is ‘every little something is better than a big nothing’ and so if everyone does a little something, it adds up to a lot.”

These small actions can help the nation. “Our climate commitment is action, not words,” President Biden said at COP26.

The White House plans to launch a long-term climate strategy to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Until then, maybe consider transitioning from a car to a bike.

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