Updated: Dec 2, 2020
What can people of a community currently do to take action against climate change? In a presentation by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, this question is answered. Mapping out the overarching agenda of 2030, it is evident that climate change is part of it. While considering that certain countries have taken matters into their own hands by approaching the question, “what should we do?”, the main focus is now on supporting them in implementing these commitments, whether it be simply by improving education and raising awareness or fighting to integrate climate change measures into national policies. As of 2018, ten developing countries have successfully submitted their plans for tackling climate change.
We, as a younger generation, play an extremely important role in coming up with a potential solution to this ongoing issue. No matter what one’s interests may be, it is almost guaranteed that they can find a way to contribute to achieving these goals of climate change and sustainable development. As a student wanting to study law in the future, I never knew I could use my passion to advocate for these changes and issues in the world. I was driven to dig deeper into the possible ways that I, as well as students like me, could make a difference.
In terms of legislation, there is lots of work to be done. Political cycles are relatively short, indicating that policies can change quickly. This is a crucial issue in climate, because laws related to the well being of the environment should generate change over long periods of time and these implementations should have long-term effects. One way to potentially stabilize this situation would be to institutionalize legislation that would guarantee change in the long run. Changes like this would not happen without these advocates who find interest in blending their passions to make a difference.
An example of a climate friendly change in legislation would be the Law of the Sea. I think we can all agree that the ocean is a common good. Beyond national jurisdiction, however, the ocean requires legislation that goes beyond national law. This law consists of a bunch of agreements by which order and relations on the sea are peacefully maintained. This quickly became a vital step towards establishing a rule of law, internationally.
Anyone who wants to pursue a career in law can spend these years searching for a solution. Many students who are interested in the law could use their skills of brilliant communication to generate attention to the issue, or they can grow up to find an interest in environmental law and fight until some changes are made. Whether it be taking action in your community or conducting legal research, you can make a difference. Without lawyers, who would advocate for these changes in legislation or for the government to take climate action?
That was just a quick insight into how much impact the law has on the environment. But not only law: anyone from frequent thrifters to future journalists can find their own unique way to help out. Let’s dedicate a little time for a safe and enjoyable future.
Liana Melwani is a high school senior at American Heritage School in Plantation, FL.