Cop21: 5 reasons to be optimistic
Here we are : the Paris Summit on Climate Change is in its last straightaway and is expected to result in a new international agreement to reduce global GHG emissions by Sunday. The entire world is now on the edge of its seat. Still, here are 5 reasons to be optmistic.
- TOWARD A NEW AGREEMENT After the great disapointment that followed the Copenhagen Summit in 2009, we had many reasons to be doubtful about the results of the current Summit in Paris, especially since it has been labeled the “last chance meeting” by many. However, the actual mood in Paris is really different than the one in Copenhagen. If disagreements still subsist, we can hope for a new agreement that will at least be a foundation stone of a new round of international climate actions.Wednesday morning, a new version of the agreement was submited to the national delegations in Paris, with significant improvements.If we have to be cautious in our expectations, it worth saying that many leaders and representatives including Catherine McKenna said that they were confident that Paris would lead to positive resulsts.
- A DROP IN GHG EMISSIONS IN 2015 An article published on Monday in Nature Climate Change tells us that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have slighly decreased in 2015, while global economy has kept growing. According to the authors, this can be explained by the switch from coal to clean energies that is currently happening worldwide, but especially in China.What this is telling us is that cutting GHG emissions while creating jobs and wealth is possible. That is another proof that solutions to climate change exist and can be implemented now. All we need is political will.
- CIVIL SOCIETY IS READY AND WANTS CLIMATE ACTION
A couple of days before the beginning of the Paris Climate Summit, close to 1 million people marched around the wold – including in Ottawa- to ask their leaders an ambitious agreement on climate change.In Canada, recent polls showed that a wide majority of Canadians saw climate change as a threat to their economic future and said they’d support Canada going forward with new climate change targets, even if they result in significant job losses in the oil patch.Last week, despite the state emergency in Paris, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Eiffel Tower to from a giant “100% renewable” sign, sending a clear message in favor of clean energies.It is now clear that an overwhelming majority of the world’s population want our leaders to act for the planet we’ll leave to the next generations. Our message is loud and is being heard at le Bourget: it’s now time to move up a gear and go 100% renewable. Here’s another great Avaaz initiative:
- CELEBRITIES IN DEFENSE OF THE CLIMATE
In the last days, we have seen many celebrities challenging the world leaders in Paris and asking them to find an agreement on climate.Among them, Pope Francis, former US vice-president and climate activist Al Gore and former California governor and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger all called for more actions to fight climate change. These calls give additional strength to the current climate negociations and put further pressure on world’s leaders.
- THE CHANGING FACE OF CANADA We didn’t expect that after 10 years of climate denial and inaction : Canada has now commited to help the Climate Summit reaching an ambitious agreement. Tell us if we are dreaming!Last monday, Catherine McKenna, the new Minister for the Environment, was named to a group of 14 international ministers who will serve as facilitators of the COP21 climate conference in Paris. Furthermore, Mrs McKenna surprised everyone when she said that Canada supported a 1,5 degree target in an potential agreement, adding that the widely accepted 2 degrees temperature increase not to be exceeded was a “minimum target”.These announces are truely welcomed and make us feel enthusiastics about the future. However, the only climate plan that is coherent with these positions is getting Canada off fossil fuels by 2050. That said, you can tell it to Mrs McKenna here.