The city of Bath, nestled on the western banks of the Kennebec River, is especially endangered by climate change and rising sea levels. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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I attend King Middle School in Portland. We have been researching climate change and energy sources recently. After doing this research on climate change, I have come to believe that the choices of individuals and governments have an impact on our climate now and our climate in the future.

There are three important things that governments and individuals need to do. First, they need to protect and plant more ecosystems like mangroves. If people are able to protect these ecosystems and plant more mangroves and forests, then they can have a large impact against climate change. Second, they need to cut coal, petroleum, and natural gas emissions. This can drastically slow down climate change. Third, they need to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Effective control of short-lived climate pollutants is essential. It can accelerate the fight against climate change, and it can mitigate serious air pollutants. It would benefit both human and animal health greatly.

Thus, I have concluded that the choices of individuals and governments have an effect on our climate now and in the future. They have a choice. The question is whether they are willing to change their day to day life to protect our livelihoods. The effects of climate change have already affected millions, and it is only going to get worse.

Rowan McAuliffe