Monday, November 30, 2015
Today I observed and sometimes joined a peaceful human chain for a climate of peace on the Boulevard Voltaire in Paris. Organisers estimated about 10,000 people participated in one way or another.
This event took place because Parisians and visitors to Paris were denied the freedom of speech and assembly to march down the street under the state of emergency provisions.
Short video highlights from the human chain event on Boulevard Voltaire:
These provisions were enacted by the French state after the terrorist attacks on November 13 which resulted in 130 deaths and over 300 injured. It caused a dark cloud to hang over the climate conference. Just the fact that national leaders focus was redirected on security and terrorism has detracted from the much needed focus on resolving the climate change issue, which activists have highlighted as the Climate Emergency.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Reposted article from Climate Action Moreland website.
Well done to everyone who marched or supported the march, particularly the many shop keepers who allowed signs to go up in their windows. It was awesome with the estimated 60,000 people, who at one point, stretched all the way from Parliament House down Bourke street and up Swanston street to the starting place at the State Library at Latrobe street.
"The majority of Australians want action on climate change," said Geoff Cousins, chair of the Australian Conservation Foundation. "People now realise this is not some theoretical concept. This is affecting their lives on a daily basis and they want something done about it." he told the crowd, according to ABC News.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
According to a Lowy Institute public opinion poll conducted in October-November 2015 over half of Australia's population believes that climate change is "a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs".
Over the last few years concern has been steadily growing about climate change and the need to take action. The Lowy Institute points out that this is an increase of 16 percentage points since 2012 to 52 per cent.
Another 36 per cent of people reckon that "The problem of global warming should be addressed, but its effects will be gradual, so we can deal with the problem gradually by taking steps that are low in cost."
Just 11 per cent of people believe we "should not take any steps that would have economic costs."
On climate targets, 62 per cent of people think we "should be prepared to make stronger commitments on emissions reductions in the interests of reaching a global agreement". Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt should keep this level of support in mind when they meet other heads of state and our diplomats start negotiating a climate agreement in Paris atthe UN climate conference.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Earlier this month I reported on a new study that said extreme temperature events affected human fertility. Too Darn Hot! Sex, human fertility and birth rate declines due to #heatwave temperature shocks. Now you can read the authors of the study directly in this post from the Conversation US site.
Coalition Climat 21 have proposed a human chain be formed between 12 noon and 1pm along the sidewalks of the Boulevarde Voltaire from between Place de la Republique and Place de la Nation. This was the original route of the march that has been planned for several months for Sunday November 29 in Paris.
Activists announced this action in a media release (fr) on Tuesday 24 November, to get around the ban on marching declared by the French state. The state of emergency declared and then extended after the Paris attacks resulted in the French state prohibiting mass marches in Paris and cities across France.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Time for a music break, and Arthur and Mongstar have done such a cool song for Caribbean Youth Environment Network - Saint Lucia (CYEN) to take to the Paris climate conference.
Help them by signing their change.org petition: A legally binding agreement that keeps global temp. below 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.
"CYEN postulates that any increases in temperature beyond 1.5°C will relegate the economies of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to unrelenting cycles of disasters and therefore compromise the future quality of life of all young people."
It seems that Australia has flexibility in negotiating for a global climate agreement in Paris. Minister Hunt even expressed that there is some room for Australia to lift it's targets, after a review, through purchase of carbon credits. But it appears there is no extra funding to the Green Climate Fund on the table.
Australia as a mid-level power carries some influence at sensitive negotiations such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) annual summit, called the Conference of Parties or simply COP. This year in Paris is the 21st year of negotiations, hence COP21.
Tom Arup in The Age has a good summary of the Australian political negotiating position on climate, writing that Australia's "team now has a negotiating mandate approved by cabinet. It is understood to be flexible and allows Australia to sign up to a strong agreement, including one with lofty language about the long-term ambition of the agreement."
Monday, November 23, 2015
Maximum temperatures dropped this weekend to around 7C degrees and minimums are -1C overnight. In early November the temperature almost reached 30C in Paris during a European autumn heatwave setting a number of monthly maximum and minimum temperature records (see my storify below).
Many records in France were broken, sometimes very significantly (especially during the weekend of 7 and 8 November), and the warmth was also exceptional in its duration, according to a Meteo France media statement on 20 November.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
At a press conference in Paris on Friday afternoon activists unveiled how they would mobilize people in France to have a say despite the state of emergency that prohibts mass protests.
The Climate 21 coalition, a coalition of 130 groups involving unions, environment, community and climate activist associations, are adamant that the protests scheduled on November 29 and December 12 should proceed in some form taking into account the altered security requirements and sensitivity to the Paris attacks victims and their families.
"We will not renounce our mobilization, but we thought about other ways to occupy public space," said Juliette Rousseau, spokesperson for the Coalition according to a le Monde report (fr).
Thursday, November 19, 2015
This afternoon the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, ruled that the two large climate marches in Paris and the main cities in France on November 29 and December 12 would be prohibited.
Negotiations between climate activist organisations and the French state have been ocurring early this week regarding approval for civil society public events and the two huge mobilisations, but without coming to agreed solutions. The Paris Prefecture of Police informed Climat21 Coalition late this afternoon (18 November) of the decision to prohibit the two marches.
My sources inform me that any street protest during the COP is also prohibited.
According to an Le Monde report (fr), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying that due to the attacks of November 13 and the security situation all events in enclosed spaces and that are easily securable will be maintained. However, the government decided to avoid greater risk and that the planned marches for Paris and other cities in France on 29 November and 12 December would be prohibited.