There’s an interesting story developing at the Paris COP 21 UN climate summit that may have more to it than meets the eye. It’s the momentum that has been growing in week two for a threshold target of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels.
US, European and other states push for exclusion of binding Indigenous rights from agreement
Indigenous groups from across the world staged a paddle down the Seine river in Paris on Sunday, calling on governments to ensure Indigenous rights are included in the United Nations climate pact currently being negotiated in France.
The United States, the EU, Australia and other states have pushed for Indigenous rights to be dropped from the binding parts of the agreement out of fear that it could create legal liabilities.
Leaders from 147 countries have assembled in Paris for COP 21, the most important climate summit since the 2009 Copenhagen meeting. But climate justice activists worry the result will be the same: platitudes and handwringing, with no firm commitment from Global North countries to drastically curb carbon emissions.
Without concrete, enforceable emissions targets and transition financing, the Paris climate talks will only deepen our climate crisis.
What’s been billed as the meeting that will determine the fate of the planet is now underway in Paris.
The outcome of the 21st Conference of Parties — or COP 21, for short — of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will determine whether the world might be able to keep average temperatures for the 21st century from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.
Last week, the sterile hallways at COP21 rang with the chants of young Pacific Islanders: ‘1.5 to stay alive! 1.5 to stay alive!’ Morgan Curtis reports from the Paris climate talks for New Internationalist.
(Editorial note: A big difference from the Harper government for sure. But when the Canadian government ends all fossil fuel subsidies, stops all pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructural development, talks about the need to end a growth economy, then maybe we can really start taking this seriously.)
Sunday night, Canada surprised a world of nations and negotiators in closed-door climate talks in Paris by endorsing a much bolder, ambitious target for cutting greenhouse gases than the UN climate change summit is officially aiming for.