Thousands of slippers and other flower-filled footwear decorated the Place de la Republique in Paris, where the People’s Climate March was planned. A state of emergency prevented what could have been the world’s largest march. This did not stop the planned marches from taking place across the world. More than 600,000 people took to the streets in 175 countries calling for a strong deal in Paris. One to champion the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
In spite of the singular interruption in Paris and the recent attacks in the city, the mobilisation must continue. Why? Climate revolution is needed for the survival of all future generations and now the global momentum for climate action is at all-time high. Where in the world is more suited for this climate revolution than France?
France is steeped in revolutionary history. From the Enlightenment to the French Revolution, this country has been the ground for great historical change. This week, the heat is turned all the way up in Paris. While we don our winter boots, leaders from over 190 countries will descend upon the city of lights to agree on a global climate agreement to direct climate change policy. The hope is that this agreement will follow suit and be revolutionary. It must create drastic change.
A truly ambitious climate agreement is needed; one which mirrors the resilience and tenacity of the people inhabiting the city. People much like the Honourable Heidi Picquart (French ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago), who notified me that France is looking forward to the realisation of a climate agreement which is ambitious and legally binding. He added that there needs to be periodical revisions to improve country contributions to climate action as this will lead to greater overall effectiveness of the climate movement.
The global public is showing its support for revolutionary, paradigm-shifting climate action in a way that has never before been demonstrated. Now, it is up to the negotiators to do their part.
Climate change is no longer a negotiable topic.
Even in the face of the tragedy which befell Paris, the ambassador was quick to add that the future of the world is at stake and therefore we must carry on, we must persevere for the sake of those which will come after us. France is committed to climate change action, added Monsieur Stéphane Dovert (French Regional Cultural Action and Cooperation Adviser). This is a global conference which will require collective actions even as each country brings its own concerns to the table. Dovert stated that everyone needs to be concerned and we are each responsible for changing our personal behaviour; we will only move forward when everyone is concerned about climate change.
Through climate revolution, change will happen.
Perhaps, Paris is the perfect place for this dynamic change. Perhaps, after twenty-one years of negotiations, the planets have aligned for the climate movement. Keep your fingers crossed for a climate revolution.
This article was originally published in the Trinidad Guardian