By CHARISSE DE LOS REYES

PHOTO: flickr.com/UN Climate Talks
Young environmentalists posing in front of the holes they dug for 193 baby trees, one
for each nation in the world. “Stop talking. Start planting,” was their message for the
delegates at the U.N. Climate Change Conference. PHOTO: Flickr/UN Climate Talks

Young environmentalists from Plant-for-the-Planet, an organization founded by 13-year-old Felix Finkbeiner from Germany, planted 193 seedlings outside the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico, for the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Change Conference. The conference took place from November 29 to December 10, 2010. Ten-year-old Alessa Midirs Monroy told the Democracy Now! news program that they are planting trees “because we want a better future, and we want the CO2 to reduce and are helping by planting trees.”

Representatives from all over the world gathered in Cancun to come up with plans to fight climate change. While governments discussed climate change issues, such as global warming and the eventual submersion of some Pacific island countries, non-governmental organizations and activists protested the lack of representation of indigenous people at the conference.

The Conference ended with the adoption of the Cancun Agreement. It says that most countries will pledge to improve emission-reduction efforts, but there are no deadlines or specific targets. According to environmental journalist Kate Sheppard, “While leaders have, on paper, committed to limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the pledges so far won’t meet that. Instead, they leave the world on a path to a temperature rise of 3 to 3.9 degrees Celsius—dangerously high for the most vulnerable regions of the world.”