300 days to Paris #COP21. Oui, we can do this.

The countdown has begun. In 300 days, world leaders will come together to negotiate a global climate agreement.

2015 will be the year of the climate.

There is a growing feeling that Paris could be a turning point for our climate.

So what’s different this year?

At the World Economic Forum this year the world’s biggest businesses were united in their call for climate action. Jim Kim, president of the World Bank, called for a global response equal to the climate challenge and that we ‘have to wake up to the fierce urgency of the now.’ Even the Pope is calling for ‘courageous’ action in Paris.

Obama is flexing his muscles on climate like we haven’t seen from any US President before. He signed a historic emissions reductions deal with China last year which will set the negotiations off on the right track.

As hosts this year, France have more political influence and seem intent on making the talks a success. The President is on record as saying he wants ‘a historic climate agreement’.

Citizens are not settling for inaction. We have recently seen some of the biggest mobilisations around climate the world has ever seen. A US study suggested two thirds of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate who pledges to fight climate change.

The divestment movement is taking off, with a recent string of announcements from large businesses and funds pledging to divest from fossil fuels, such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund which controls about $860 million in assets.

Divestment is taking off in New Zealand too, with Victoria University of Wellington and the Anglican Church of New Zealand leading the charge and pledging to divest last year.

An ambitious global agreement seems more likely than it ever has.

With the National Government still on track to increase our emissions by 50%, the question for the Government is whether they want to be on the right side of history.


1 Comment Posted

  1. Does National want to be on the right side of history?

    a) No
    b) Is the right side Margaret Thatcher’s side?
    c) Can we continue to burn fossil fuels?
    d) Neither me, nor my office, is aware of history.

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