Climate Action

Earth Day Network is taking you to #COP21 in Paris

Paris is buzzing, and for a good reason. This week, over 40,000 people who care about climate change are meeting at the largest ever UN Climate negotiations, known as COP21, in Paris. Among them are government negotiators, climate activists, business leaders, and representatives of civil society. Earth Day Network is here to represent your voice. Last Sunday, the day before the negotiations started, close to one million people marched around the world — from the Philippines to London — to push their leaders to take real, meaningful climate action. In Paris, where security concerns led to a ban on the local march, 20,000 shoes were donated and placed at Place de la Republique to represent the massive march that would have otherwise taken place. Among them where the shoes of Pope Francis and of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. This is the year – 2015 – in which we expect a binding agreement on climate change. We have already seen nations step up to the plate with their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) in the lead-up to COP21. India and France launched an international solar alliance, Canada pledged 2.65 Billion dollars to the Green Climate Fund, and a Bill Gates-led group of 28 investors created the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which is set to invest billions of dollars in renewable energy research and development. While all these developments are indeed exciting, they still don’t reduce carbon emissions by a viable amount. The rest of the conference will be devoted to bridging the emissions gap. Many developing nations have outlined in their INDCs what they could accomplish with financial help from developed nations. Places like Kiribati and the Philippines are advocating for agreements on loss and damages, as their countries are taken over by climbing sea levels. There is much to accomplish in the next two weeks, but we are up to the task. Civil society, government, businesses, and citizens alike are coming together to ensure success in Paris and beyond. COP21 is the first step of many toward a greener, better future for us and generations yet to come. Earth Day Network is honored to be a part of this historic event, as we work to educate and collaborate in this space. After all, as our #Youth4Climate Paris volunteers know all too well, we’re all in this together!