From the local to the global there has been momentum building on Climate Action. One hundred and sixty nations have pledged to undertake actions to reduce climate change. These proposals are a start but do not make deep enough emission cuts to prevent global temperature rise and increasing climate catastrophe. As Bernie Sanders mentioned in the last debate, the day after the Paris attacks: “Climate Change is a much bigger threat to the US than ISIS.” US lead negotiator Todd Stern actually has a straightforward five-minute interview on NPR about Paris entitled “Paris Climate Conference Represents ‘Best Chance’ For World To Act.”
National and International Climate Action groups have been organizing for citizen actions and protests on the eve of the International Paris Negotiations. Numerous activist groups are going to Paris to be a voice outside the gate. They include, peace, justice, religious groups and the Lummi Canoe family for example. More than 2,000 local events are planned around the world.
After the Paris attacks, the French police are preventing marches thereby making the focus on local actions even more important. Climate Action Network has the following information on their website:
The Paris Prefecture of Police has announced that due to the tragic events that took place on November 13, the Global Climate March planned for November 29 and the December 12 mobilizations planned will not be allowed to proceed in Paris.
“We realize the gravity of the situation, but now more than ever, we need to find creative ideas to call on people to unite around climate action,” stated Juliette Rousseau, coordinator of the Coalition Climat 21, the network of NGOS coordinating the mobilisations.
“There will be no COP21 without civil society and our voices will be heard inside that conference centre and in capitals around the world,” said Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network International.
“We call on people across the world to join in and march for us in solidarity, to express our demands and echo our voices,” said Alix Mazounie, international policy coordinator for RAC France.
The French Coalition is already at work to find creative ways to take action and ensure that the future climate agreement will not be the work only of government negotiators but of the people around the world.
Faith-based groups also have some good information:
- The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale page
- The World’s Catholic Bishops issued a recent Statement to Paris Negotiators to “End the Fossil Fuel Era” following up on Pope Francis Laudato Si Encyclical.
- The Dali Lama and over a billion Buddhists have issued a call for strong climate actions in Paris.
- Statements have also come from most faith groups as this is a moral issue putting the world’s poor at first risks.
- All the citizen actions are for meaningful negotiations that effectively curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce climate impacts but continuing local action will be needed:
- Pressure State Legislature to Tax Carbon to give our children a future.
- Bring a halt to coal and oil rail shipments and proposed coal export and oil and gas transport and export facilities proposed for Washington state.
- Divest from fossil fuels in state investments, as well as city and county, college and church investments.
- Work on county and city plans to reduce carbon emissions and forest and estuary and soil protection and restoration to help sequester carbon.
Reforms in lifestyle and past ways of operating will be needed. The need for citizen involvement does not end at Paris.