Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

5 Things You Should Know About the Kick Off of Paris Climate Talks

Climate
5 Things You Should Know About the Kick Off of Paris Climate Talks

On Sunday, Nov. 29, more than half a million people took to the streets from more than 175 countries to show support for the Paris climate talks, which officially kicked off on Monday with unprecedented momentum and political will.

Despite the cancellation of massive mobilizations in the City of Light due to security concerns after the devastating Nov. 13 terrorist attacks, activists were determined to show their support for a strong climate deal. Tens of thousands of shoes, including pairs from Pope Francis and UN Secretary Ban-Ki Moon, were laid out at Paris’s Place de la Republique to symbolize those who could not march.

More than 140 heads of state were present at the opening of the COP's two day high level leaders day. President Obama spoke long and eloquently about the impact of climate change on future generations and made clear the U.S. intentions to increase support to developing and climate vulnerable nations.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau drew loud applause when he pronounced, “Canada is back, my good friends. We’re here to help.” Canada has long been seen as a laggard in the climate action arena, but Trudeau's new government has already been rehabilitating Canada's climate stances and has pledged to review and reform the country’s policies on climate and energy in the coming weeks and months.

Chinese President Xi also reaffirmed his country’s commitment to climate action and India’s Prime Minister Modi announced a solar power alliance with more than 100 countries intended to accelerate the adoption and scaling of solar infrastructure across the global south.

Faith leaders delivered a petition signed by nearly 2 million people of different faiths to the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres. Representatives from different faith groups have turned out in force for this COP, buoyed by statements of religious leaders like Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, who make the moral case for acting on climate.

It wasn’t just the activists, faith leaders and heads of state making noise, business leaders joined in to announce the biggest ever clean tech fund on Monday, which will double global clean energy spending to $20 billion. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is spearheading the effort and is joined by 27 other corporate heavyweights, called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. It was complemented by an international initiative called Mission Innovative, endorsed by 20 countries, including the U.S. The initiative is meant to pay for research and development of new clean energy technologies and will double spending from a current $10 billion. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he hopes the announcement will “set the tone” for the Paris climate talks.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

These 4 Kids Walked to the North Pole and Now They Need Your Help

Obama: We Must Create a ‘World That is Worthy of Our Children’

Prince Charles: Governments Must Scrap Fossil Fuel Subsidies

The Eyes of the World are on Paris

The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Demonstrators from several environmental groups including Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement demand broad action at a youth-led climate strike near City Hall on December 6, 2019 in New York City. Scott Heins / Getty Images

By Jacob Wallace

This story is published as part of StudentNation's "Vision 2020: Election Stories From the Next Generation" reports from young journalists that center the concerns of diverse young voters. In this project, working with Dr. Sherri Williams, we recruited young journalists from different backgrounds to develop story ideas and reporting about their peers' concerns ahead of the most important election of our lives. We'll continue publishing two stories each week over the course of September.

In the speech she gave at the People's Climate March in Washington in 2017, Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, then 15, told a crowd of thousands, "This [climate change] is not just an environmental issue. This is a race issue, this is an immigration issue, this is a feminist issue."

Read More Show Less
Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., places a flag at the COVID Memorial Project's interfaith memorial service to honor the 200,000 people who died due to coronavirus on the National Mall on Sept. 22, 2020. Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

The United States passed 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday and experts warn that number may double before the end of the year as an autumn surge in cases starts, according to USA Today.

Read More Show Less
People Have the Power - VOTE 2020

Climate-action nonprofit Pathway to Paris first launched in 2014 with an "intimate evening" of music and conversation after the People's Climate March in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch