Local people will be travelling to Paris as the world’s UN Climate Change talks finish in early December.
They will be joining hundreds of thousands of people from all over Europe who will be taking to the streets to give their verdict on the success of the talks, which start on 30th November.
The Paris Climate Talks are the most important talks on climate change since the failed Copenhagen talks in 2009.
World leaders will be trying to create a new agreement on global greenhouse gas emissions which will kick in at 2020 when current commitments on emissions will expire[i].
It is unlikely that that the talks will achieve the emissions cuts required to prevent dangerous climate change.
The world community agrees that global temperatures must be kept below two degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels. On 30th October the United Nations announced the pledges that 146 nations have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These translate to three degrees Celsius of warming, way above the safe target. [ii]
Huddersfield residents will be in Paris on 11-13 December as part of the mobilisation to put pressure on world leaders and to give their verdict on the talks.[iii]
Here are some local people’s views on why they will be attending or why the Paris talks are so important:
Michelle Atkinson & Chayley Collis from Huddersfield Friends of the Earth
Huddersfield Friends of the Earth is campaigning for 100% clean energy and for a fossil free future. We are supporting the Fossil Free divestment movement to help break the financial and lobbying power of the fossil fuel industry.
The UN climate talks in Paris is a crucial time to get legally binding emissions controls to prevent climate disaster. This is effectively a fight for our lives and the future of our children.
I will be going to Paris in December to join hundreds of thousands of others to call for action on climate change. Global warming is a major threat. As individuals and communities we can and should do things to reduce our carbon footprint but it is governments that have huge power – power to invest in renewable energy, to ditch fossil fuels and to support the world’s poorest people in clean development. Those leaders in Paris need to know that we’re watching them.
Over the last ten years, my family has been working hard to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s sobering because despite our many efforts we are still producing over 4 times as much carbon as is sustainable for a household like ours. That’s why I’m clear that we need governments to show real leadership and deliver a historic deal that drives co-ordinated action across the world. That’s why I’m looking forward to marching in London with others from Kirklees to demand this political leadership.
I’m alarmed by what climate change means for us, let alone future generations. I’m inspired by the opportunity it presents to re-imagine our societies. So far, commitments from world governments just aren’t adding up: we are still on track for dangerous climate change and we are not grasping opportunities for a fairer, safer, healthier future. In Paris at the end of the talks, I will be joining hundreds of thousands of citizens from around the world to make sure that people not governments have the final word.