Paris Climate Agreement

This morning I woke up in Bangkok, Thailand to the news that Trump is officially withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. One decision made by one country by the power of one person that will impact 7 billion people, future generations and the future of our planet.

Reading headline after headline added to the devastation that I was feeling. "The U.S. Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History. It Just Walked Away From the Paris Climate Deal." - New York Times. My own country, collectively putting itself before others and disregarding the health and well-being of all people and our planet now and decades down the road.

My friend Donte and I at One Young World Bangkok 2015

My friend Donte and I at One Young World Bangkok 2015

Two years ago, I was at the One Young World Summit also in Bangkok, Thailand just before #COP21. One Young World brings together 2,000 young leaders each year to "empower them to create positive change." In 2015, a delegate from each country called on our world leaders to take action to protect our planet at #COP21.

I represented the USA. At the beginning, I thanked President Obama for his commitment to our environment. I was proud of his stance and support on working together with the globe to reverse rising temperatures. I ended calling for a "strong alliance of advocacy and action" from our leaders to make a difference for our world.

My #CallonCOP speech:

Now, two years later, our next President is refusing such an alliance in this space. The Paris Climate Agreement is a global agreement. This impacts our entire world now and in the future. The impact of climate change is not a possibility. It is happening. It is happening now.

Bryant Zebedy, the representative from the Marshall Islands at One Young World, made an incredible speech on the devastating effects climate change is already having on his island and on his people and the threat of extinction for us all. "We are all global warming victims. We must make stronger climate movements in order to keep the sustainability in our planet. If we islanders survive, I promise you, the whole world will survive."

Bryant's #CallonCOP speech:

Despite this dangerous decision, I was brought hope today thinking of all of the amazing people I have met along my travels. All of the amazing people all over the world taking action to make a difference for our planet. I was brought hope reading Tim Cook's email to his Apple employees, reassuring them that this decision will have "no impact on Apple's efforts to protect the environment." I was brought hope thinking of my amazing, previous company, Unilever, who brought me to One Young World and takes actions for a better world every day. I was brought hope reading government official's responses denouncing Trump's decision. 

Although I am incredibly disappointed in the decision to withdraw from the agreement, I am positive and hopeful that the amazing people in our world will continue to persist and fight for our planet that so badly needs a voice. After all, without the health of our planet, we as humans of the planet, are left with nothing. We must all play a role in protecting our world for future generations to come.