Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

The Eyes of the World are on Paris

Climate
The Eyes of the World are on Paris

The nations of the world gathered on Monday in Paris to reach a new and universal climate change agreement, in the knowledge that they have already delivered an almost universal set of national responses to meet the long-term climate challenge before the conference even begins.

More than 150 heads of state arrived at the conference venue on Monday to give their public support, the largest group of leaders ever to attend a UN event in a single day.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, which was webcast live around the world, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said that the eyes of millions of people around the world were on the governments meeting in Paris, not just figuratively but literally.

“You have the opportunity, in fact the responsibility, to finalize an agreement that enables the achievement of national climate change goals, that delivers the necessary support for the developing world and that catalyses continuously increasing ambition and action by all,” she said.

Figueres said that the past year had been a turning point and that after many years of hard work, the world was finally seeing that the direction towards a low-carbon, resilient future was irreversible.

“This turning point is truly remarkable, but the task is not done," she continued. "It is up to you to both capture this progress and chart an unequivocal path forward, with a clear destination, agreed milestones and a predictable timeline that responds to the demands of science and the urgency of the challenge.”

On the eve of the COP21 conference, 184 countries covering around 95 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions had delivered their national climate action plans to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These pledges constitute a good foundation, but are not enough to keep the world below the internationally agreed maximum global average temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius.

COP21 President French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called on governments to step up their efforts: “The stakes are too high, and the menace of climate change is too great for us to be content with a minimalistic agreement. The Heads of State and Government who have come to Paris have come to express the voice of ambition."

Ahead of the Paris meeting, thousands of companies and investors and thousands of mayors and regional governments announced their commitment to the essential economic and social transformation to low-carbon, sustainable growth and development.

Minister Fabius said the conference would serve to highlight the importance of non-state actors within the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda.

During the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris the governments of France and Peru, along with the UN, are organizing a series of high-level events to demonstrate that the transition to low carbon and resilience is under way. Throughout the eight days of the LPAA, inspirational new commitments will be announced, in action areas ranging from forests and agriculture to clean energy and private finance for climate action.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Hundreds of Thousands Take to the Streets Demanding Urgent Action on Climate Change

10,000 Form Human Chain in Paris Demanding World Leaders Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Mark Jacobson: Barriers to 100% Clean Energy are Social and Political, Not Technical or Economic

Art Installation Lights Up Eiffel Tower on Eve of Paris Climate Talks


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less