The Paris Agreement

On October 5th, members of the UN met in Paris to discuss global warming and how we can hold our citizens accountable for fixing the environment they have taken advantage of. The first session of the Conference involving the Parties who agreed to the Paris Agreement took place in Marrakech, Morocco from 15-18 November 2016. Over 170 countries signed this agreement. According to the UNFCC , the agreements central focus is to strengthen the global recognition of the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen and expedite the ability of countries response to the impacts of climate change. “To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework will be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement also provides for enhanced transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework”.

After the recent election, many countries are worried that the US will not stick to their agreement. President Trump, unfortunately, does not see these environmental issues as a priority of his presidency and this makes many feel hopeless.
Although, Many urban cities aim to use the treaty as inspiration to better their city into a more sustainable area. “Urban areas are at the center of converging global frameworks, not only the Paris Agreement on climate change but also the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September 2015, and the New Urban Agenda, adopted last month in Quito, Ecuador, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – or Habitat III.” Other cities like those in Morroco and Ecuador are finding natural ways to develop their urban cities. If this movement continues to expand, with hopes that the US takes part, the Paris Treaty can really move the world towards sustainability.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (second left), UNFCCC”s Christiana Figueres (left), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the president of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), and President François Hollande of France (right) celebrate the historic adoption of Paris Agreement. Photo: UNFCCC

Ten things you need to know about the Paris Treaty



USE-IT! Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together

In Birmingham, the city created a plan that tackles urban poverty in order to continue sustainability in the highly population area. City Planners focused on the highly-populated inner transect with high poverty and new migrant populations and created opportunities for citizens to self-motivate. “We will use the building of a new hospital, local social enterprise structures and universities rich in cultural and creative capital to enable the population to self-empower in a sustainable way.  This means increasing their employment prospects and their ability to engage and influence the public planning, investment and strategy that takes place in their localities.”(UIA WEBSITE) People in the communities will access jobs at the hospital and other opportunities involving  the large investment projects planned for the area. New businesses will be developed in the area by local citizens and even more people will find employment within these businesses.  This project can provide the community an uplifting for their aspirations and to access affordable educational and training opportunities.  With the success of this project, community planners hope their activities will fundamentally change the way these partners deliver and shape, education and training, investment, business support and community collaborations.


“Use+it!+birmingham – Google Search.” Use+it!+birmingham – Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

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Caretakers of the Environment has been an annual summer environmental conference that I have attended since I was 13. The conference works in mysterious, yet beautiful, ways in order to discuss very difficult environmental issues and also, bring humanity closer together. Students from all over the world join together to view new perspectives and describe their own.  The country that hosts finds sponsorship to help pay for the hospitality and events of the conference. Not only must the hosting country find a place for over 200 students and faculty to stay at, but they must also find field trips that a number that is that large can all attend. The hosts must provide an educational experience not only filled with environmental awareness, but also cultural relativism.  In 2013, the conference was supposed to be held in Chicago, but unfortunately, the funding fell through. I believe if UIC were to host such a beautiful conference,  foreign students attending would be able to have more of an understand of Urban Sustainability, and may even contribute to the evolution of a sustainable campus. The cost of the conference depends on how much sponsorship the conference can receive through advertisements and discussions. The students attending pay for their flight and their registration fee, this fee covers food and room. The teachers pay also the registration fee and the flight, but also a fee for special accommodations. The alumni pay for their flight while the hosts cover the price of registration.

Possible Budget: $10,000


(Left to Right) Author Nadia young, Samuel Thelaus from Sweden, Emily Ausman and Samuel Simas from Oregon, Νικολέτα Παπουτσάκη from Greece, and to Данил Гордин from Russia attempting to spread environmental wisdom through games. The alumni team challenged the students to create outfits using things found in nature. This includes trash,plants, and even food; This was the result.