Thanks a lot, Republicans. You weren’t in Paris physically, but you still managed to prevent last week’s global climate summit from reaching an agreement that would give humanity a better than iffy chance of avoiding catastrophic sea-level rise, scorching temperatures, and killer floods and drought in the years ahead.
While representatives from nearly 200 nations gathered inside the COP21 on Saturday to hammer out the final details of the climate agreement, climate justice activists and civil society groups took to the streets of Paris near the Arc de Triomphe to say the agreement doesn’t do enough to roll back the effects of climate change. "The Paris Agreement is a death sentence for many people," says Pablo Solón, former climate negotiator for Bolivia. "A world with temperature increases more than 3 degrees Celsius is a world where not everyone will survive."
By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster…. The talks in Paris are the best there have ever been. And that is a terrible indictment.” George Monbiot, The Guardian, December 12, 2015
The day after can be a source of regret, or a new beginning. It all depends on how much we can perceive the importance of events in time, in history, in life itself.
Light comes to Paris late on winter mornings and the streets are nearly empty as I head out in search of a morning newspaper. It’s the day after the ratification of the ‘historic’ legally binding Paris Agreement and ministers and delegations from over 190 nations are already in glorious retreat home from the pomp and circumstance afforded them during the two weeks of negotiations at Le Bourget.
Governments may have signalled an end to the fossil fuel era, with massive consequences for industry, global security, financial markets and public health, Al Gore and other business leaders have said.
PARIS — Several thousand climate activists from across Europe and many from farther afield gathered peacefully near the Arc de Triomphe on Saturday to protest the outcome of the COP 21 climate conference about 12 miles away.