What are World Countries Doing About Climate Change

As climate is rising around the world, we need to take a step forward to help save this planet.

What are World Countries Doing About Climate Change


Climate Change and how world countries are dealing with it.

By Halle Connell


For the past 50 years, climate change and global warming has breached its way up around the world. Hitting Earth like a bomb. Global warming made temperature slowly increase by 1.3 degrees fahrenheit every year. Over the past decade people all over the world have been stepping up to take matters into their own hands and help save this planet. But has every country put their foot into saving this planet? In this article we will cover how climate change has affected, and continues to affect, the world around us. And how you, and others, can help.


Greenhouse gases


The cause of global warming and climate change is mostly due to human activity. Some contributors to this are burning fossil fuels, cutting down forest, and farming livestock. These produce CO2 and other gases such as methane. These chemicals are otherwise known as Greenhouse gas emissions(GGE), greenhouse gases are a main contributor for global warming and climate change. According to The European Union Some gases in the Earth’s atmosphere act a bit like the glass in a greenhouse, trapping the sun’s heat and stopping it from leaking back into space and causing global warming.” 

Many GGE occur naturally, but human activity has increased the amount of GGE produced everyday, most greenhouse gases include Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane, Nitrous oxide, and Fluorinated gases. By 2020 Co2s concentration in the atmosphere has increased by 48% “Other greenhouse gases are emitted by human activity in smaller quantities. Methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, but has a shorter atmospheric lifetime. Nitrous oxide, like CO2, is a long-lived greenhouse gas that accumulates in the atmosphere over decades to centuries.” – The European union. 

Disclaimer that some of these percentiles might have changed since writing this article.

Primal sources for producing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are:

Transportation; (29% of greenhouse gas emissions.) Transportation is a big source for GGE, they primarily come from the heavy usage of burning fossil fuels, for cars, trucks, ships, planes, speed boats, and practically anything that produces gas. According to The United States Environmental Agency, “Over 90 percent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, which includes primarily gasoline and diesel.” These are fossil fuels.

Electricity production; (25% of greenhouse gas emissions.) Just like transportation a lot of our use of electricity requires burning fossil fuels. Approximately 62% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gases. 

Industry; (23% of greenhouse gas emissions.) Greenhouse gas emissions that come from industry mostly come from, you guessed it, burning fossil fuels for energy. They also come from greenhouse gas emissions that come from certain chemical reactions necessary for producing goods for raw materials.

Commercial and Residential; (13% of Greenhouse gas emissions), GGE from houses, businesses, and other residential homes with running electricity requires burning of fossil fuels for heat, the usage of certain products that contain greenhouse gases, and handling of waste.

Agriculture; (10% of greenhouse gas emissions) Greenhouse gases that come from

agriculture are mostly due to livestock farming, such as cattle, agricultural soil, and rice production. 

Land use and forestry; (12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions). Land areas and big forests act as sinks, soaking up Co2 and releasing oxygen for other animals to breathe in and reproduce Co2 for the forests to produce again. But deforestation and failure to manage land areas and forests have led to more trees absorbing Co2 than emitting. “In the United States, since 1990, managed forests and other lands are a net sink, i.e., they have absorbed more CO2 from the atmosphere than they emit.” – United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Seattle Summer Drought


Though Seattle is known for its rainy condition and foggy weather, throughout the past, the Pacific Northwest has been experiencing an abnormally long drought that has lasted almost half the year, starting in summer and continuing to stretch into fall. 

Throughout the summer of 2021, the Pacific Northwest was affected by a summer-long drought. From California to Washington, “According to the September 21, 2021 U.S. Drought Monitor, 93.35% of the region(Pacific NW) is in drought, up from 40.8% at the start of 2021.” Quoted by Drought.gov.  Though this isn’t the first instance that a drought has plagued Washington. In 2014 through 2015 one of the longest droughts in Washington lasted 116 weeks. 

Now we are hit with another heat wave spreading across Washington, but surprisingly, Seattle and Everett hadn’t reached as livid conditions as the rest of Washington, other closer

cities had a limited water supply similar to California’s drought conditions. Though us here in King County weren’t as affected from the 2021 drought, we should help to make sure it doesn’t get worse.


What are the world countries doing to help?


Though climate change has been prominent throughout the last 5 decades, only in recent years have the world countries taken bigger steps to work our way to saving this planet. In December, 2015, 195 states and the European Union signed the Paris agreement.  By signing the Paris agreement, those countries have pledged to commit to making steps to reduce emissions and help adapt to climate change. “The UK, Norway, France and New Zealand are some of the countries that have legally committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050.” – Imperial College London. 

These are known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). “The pledges are monitored through an international mechanism that reviews collective progress on the goals of the Agreement. This is the ‘global stock take’ which will first happen in 2023, and then subsequently every five years.” – Imperial College London. Countries also aim for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, then try to balance between human emissions produced and the removal of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere for the second half of the century; the results are what they call “Net Zero Emissions”. Developing countries have also promised to help less developed countries in reaching this goal for climate change and helping provide resources to achieve this.

Though we’ve heard of other big steps made by other countries. But how has the United States done to help move us forward in this climate change crisis? Well, for one big step

companies across America have agreed to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Many companies are learning how to decarbonize. 

Ford has started to produce more Electric vehicles opposed to gas-powered ones, General Motors, Honda, Volvo, and Jaguar have all promised to stop selling gas powered products altogether by 2040 in order to reduce burning of fossil fuels. Royal Dutch Shell has been court ordered to reduce their production of emissions. Shareholders of this case have also made Exxon replace a quarter of it’s board with climate change-concerned activist investors. Puget Sound Energy has now invested more money into solar panels and wind turbines to help produce clean energy throughout Puget Sound. 

One of the most important movements in America towards climate change are solar panels and energy produced by wind turbines. Solar panels help replace the burning of fossil fuels, and take energy from the sun, almost like a plant, to spread energy around the world. Now the cost of solar panels have gone down by 10 factors, and the cost of wind has gone down by 70%. This has helped the spread and use of solar panels around America so more people and businesses can help with climate change. 




Though we are starting to move towards our goal to stop burning fossil fuels, stopping the production of greenhouse gases, and raising climate change awareness, we are nowhere near close to where we plan to reach. Climate change and global warming are serious issues that need to be dealt with. Though it will take a lot to reach this goal, you too can help at your own home, starting with simple things like having a compost basket, recycling the right materials, reusing materials, and spreading awareness, along with educating yourself and others. Spread word of issues and how you and others can help save this planet.