Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Paris and Beyond: Climate Movement Won't Be Silenced at COP21

Climate
Paris and Beyond: Climate Movement Won't Be Silenced at COP21

The march may be cancelled, security may be strengthened, but the global climate movement is vowing that its voice will still be heard as world leaders convene in Paris for international negotiations over the future of the planet.

"No matter what, citizens' voices will be heard throughout the Paris Climate Summit," reads a press statement from Climate Network International. Photo credit: fant0mette / Flickr

Citing security concerns in the wake of the attacks in Paris, the city's Prefecture of Police on Wednesday cancelled a massive climate justice march planned for Nov. 29, the day before UN-brokered COP21 climate talks officially begin, as well as more dispersed mobilizations scheduled for Dec. 12, the day after the summit ends.

But the climate movement—and the tens of thousands who planned to take part in the demonstrations—won't be easily silenced. While acknowledging that certain plans need to be retooled, organizers say that now, more than ever, is the time to "work for climate justice and the peace it can help bring," as 350.org's Hoda Baraka put it.

"No matter what, citizens' voices will be heard throughout the Paris Climate Summit," reads a press statement from Climate Network International—whether on the streets of Paris or at one of more than 2,000 coordinated events scheduled to take place in 150 countries this weekend.

To that end, the Climate 21 Coalition, made up of 130 groups including unions, environment, community and climate activist associations, outlined three ways in which activists will circumvent the prohibition under the state of emergency:

  • through visual and sound art installations (picture shoes symbolizing walkers placed along the route);

  • by demonstrating solidarity in cafés, in bakeries, street corners, balconies and windows and even on clothing (a common symbol will be chosen to express commitment to the climate);

  • and via a new tool, march4me.org, which will "allow all those who cannot march that day, from Beirut to Bamako including Paris, to be represented by all those are going to walk in America, Africa, Asia and in Europe." The website will go live on Nov. 25.

Meanwhile, the organizers behind the decentralized, civil disobedience protests known as the Climate Games also remain undeterred. "We believe that COP21 can not take place without the participation or mobilizations of civil society while governments and multinationals continue with business as usual," reads a statement from the Climate Games crew.

"We are still and more than ever dedicated to forms of actions that aim to address the root causes of climate chaos in determined non-violent ways," the statement continues. "Our playing field has been totally transformed in Paris, but everywhere else in the world we encourage people to continue with their plans and adventures."

In fact, "the decentralized creative nature of the Climate Games could become the alternative nonviolent response to this state of emergency," organizers declared.

Still, in the face of what they see as a government crackdown, many groups remain defiant.

For example, the "It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm" COP21 delegation—representing three powerful alliances of grassroots activists and frontline communities—said in a statement on Monday that "despite the ban on protest in Paris, we will be there to raise our voices against war, racism and pollution profiteering."

The statement continued: "Civil society, popular movements, Indigenous movements and society in general have the right to raise their voices in dissent, especially when our futures are being negotiated. The voices of Indigenous peoples, youth, women and frontline communities need to provide guidance in these negotiations, now more than ever."

Indeed, as author and activist Naomi Klein wrote on Monday in a piece highlighting what's really at stake in Paris, "being at the summit is a precious chance to speak about climate change in moral terms and to put a human face to this unfolding catastrophe."

As of early this week, groups were still considering alternatives and actions for the Dec. 12 day of action. But 350.org is confident that in the end: "Love will win out over fear and our movement will win over injustice."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

100% Renewable-Powered World ‘Technically Feasible and Economically Viable’ by 2030

Hospital workers evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. People in 128 countries have experienced an increased exposure to wildfires, a new Lancet report finds. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Workers harvest asparagus in a field by the Niederaussem lignite coal power plant in Cologne, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning are reaching new highs. Henning Kaiser / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The miserable ones: Young broiler chickens at a feeder. The poor treatment of the chickens within its supply chain has made Tyson the target of public campaigns urging the company to make meaningful changes. U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

By David Coman-Hidy

The actions of the U.S. meat industry throughout the pandemic have brought to light the true corruption and waste that are inherent within our food system. Despite a new wave of rising COVID-19 cases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to further increase "the maximum slaughter line speed by 25 percent," which was already far too fast and highly dangerous. It has been made evident that the industry will exploit its workers and animals all to boost its profit.

Read More Show Less
Altamira, state of Para, north of Brazil on Sept. 1, 2019. Amazon rainforest destruction surged between August 2019 and July 2020, Brazil's space agency reported. Gustavo Basso / NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to Brazil's space agency (Inpe), deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has surged to its highest level since 2008, the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press briefing at United Nations Headquarters on February 4, 2020 in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

"The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal."

That's how United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres began a Wednesday address at Columbia University, in which he reflected on the past 11 months of extreme weather and challenged world leaders to use the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to construct a better world free from destructive greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less