Toward the end of last year, at COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, 185 countries and the European Union signed the Paris Agreement. This agreement is the first international accord to establish binding commitments by all parties to work towards limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.
Delegates from Utah included Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker, Utah Moms for Clean Air founder Cherise Udell, and Logan Environmental Action Force member Piper Christian.
I just want to give a little background on myself, because I think some people have wondered why…this wasn’t necessarily a youth-oriented summit, it was a United Nations negotiation, and many people may wonder: why would a 16-year old want to go and spend time at this summit? I come from a family that has been completely influential in my views of the world and protection of the environment.
Piper, a sophomore at Logan High School, talked about her experience at COP21 in front of an audience of about 50 people last Tuesday at the Logan Country Club, as part of a new series called Green Drinks. While she was in Paris, she interviewed dozens of people, including a 12-year-old Balinese girl who went on a hunger strike to convince the governor to ban plastic bags.
We’re really finally admitting that climate change existed and was human caused, and we’re really starting to look at ways to tackle it and take it more seriously than they ever had before.
Alexi Lamm, Utah State University Sustainability Coordinator, is organizing the Green Drinks series.
So, Green Drinks is a social, free-form networking event that we are bringing to Logan. It’s part of an international Green Drinks, so they’re all individually locally run, but we’re just joining a network of cities that’s doing this everywhere from Albania to Vietnam to Salt Lake to Park City and now in Logan.
No single-use plates, cups, silverware, or napkins were used at the event. Instead, a kit containing reusable plates and other utensils made its debut, showing that Green Drinks events make every effort to practice what they preach.