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Political happenings around you

Many promises were made at COP26, new advancements are being made to help fight COVID-19, and the U.S. Supreme Court may make a decision that will especially affect California residents.


The 26th UN Climate Conference may be one of the last hopes for the climate, as decades of inaction have previously plagued political spheres. Therefore, the promises made at Conference of the Parties 26 are important, but many wonder how much weight they will hold without concrete follow-through plans. 

On Saturday, almost 200 countries agreed to intensify their efforts to fight climate change. However, they intend to do so by promising to return with stronger plans to curb emissions. They also urged wealthy countries, such as the United States and some nations in the EU, to double their funding on climate change mitigation measures to protect less wealthy countries, such as East African countries, from the disastrous effects of a warming climate.  

It is unclear exactly which countries will be cutting what amount of emissions, and what the punishment will be for failing to cut emissions. President Biden and other European Union leaders have proclaimed that poorer countries should shift to more sustainable methods of energy; however, they may lack the infrastructure to do so. 

Here are the most notable agreements to come of out the conference: 

The United States and China created a joint agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. China additionally developed a plan to reduce methane emissions. 

Leaders of more than 100 countries vowed to end deforestation by 2030. This would preserve 85% of the world’s forests, which are crucial to absorbing carbon dioxide. However, there have been no plans laid forth about how the countries plan to do so. 

More than 100 countries pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade. The United States plans to do this by using the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce regulations that would limit methane coming from the one million oil and gas rigs in the United States. 

India promises to reach net-zero emissions by 2070. This is a substantial promise considering that India is one of the top consumers of coal. 


The Biden administration is trying hard to find new ways to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. 

President Biden has faced pressure to increase the supply of vaccines to nations with limited vaccine infrastructure. The administration has pledged to produce one billion additional doses a year for developing countries beginning in the second half of 2022. This action should benefit countries with both disproportionate COVID deaths and vaccination rates in the single digits. However, there is an additional benefit as it should stop the spread of variants. 

This came alongside the decision to buy 10 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill for United States residents, with additional spending of three billion on over-the-counter tests that are necessary to detect the virus that are necessary the Pfizer pills to work. 

The Food and Drug Administration is set to approve the Pfizer and Moderna booster shots for those over the age of 18. 

The White House estimates that 10% of young children have already received their first dose of the vaccine. 


The U.S. Supreme Court recently made a decision that could expand the number of guns that are seen in public within the state of California. The court is set to rule against a New York law that imposes limits on who can carry guns in public. This impacts California since the state’s concealed carry laws are similar to that of New York. If the New York law is struck down then there is no question that the California law will be struck down. 

Currently, those in California and New York who wish to carry a gun in public must show a specific reason why they need the gun more than the average person. The case in front of the Supreme Court questions whether the aforementioned limitations on who can carry a gun violate the Second Amendment. The case involves residents of New York who owned weapons for hunting but were not permitted to keep the guns on them at all times because they couldn’t prove special need. 

In California, 120,000 people have concealed carry permits, but there are very few permits in Los Angeles County and the Bay Area. Therefore, the California courts will try to regulate guns another way. California has more gun control laws than any other state, including New York. However, if the New York law is struck down, the courts will not be able to deny concealed carry permits to any California resident.