The Paris climate talks began today following a weekend where a record-breaking 785,000 people in 175 countries marched in support of strong climate action. In addition almost 1.8 million people of faith signed a petition for compassionate climate action.With nearly 150 Heads of State on hand the COP 21 negotiations began Monday. Hopes are high there will be a strong, new global agreement to tackle climate change.
Unlike six years ago in Copenhagen at COP 15, there is now broad public support for action on climate and virtually all leaders now take the issue very seriously. One of the very first side meetings outside of the negotiations today featured the World Bank, the leaders of Germany, Mexico, Chile, Canada and others calling for a global price on carbon. [Watch it here] The world simply cannot afford to continue polluting the atmosphere with carbon said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
“We need to drastically cut CO2 emissions… or we will push another 100 million people into poverty” Kim said.
Global price on carbon inevitable
Putting a price on carbon is now seen as an inevitable in the creation of a low carbon economy that will eventually take the world to zero CO2 emissions he said.
“The price of solar has fallen 50 per cent since Copenhagen,” said Keya Chatterjee of the US Climate Action Network.
There has also been huge growth in the numbers of climate activists and in public support for real action on climate over the past six years Chatterjee said in a press conference. The only question now is how much has political will grown, she said.
A great deal of political will is needed to overcome the many remaining obstacles to a comprehensive, ambitious, and universal climate agreement. These obstacles include finance, equity, legal status of the agreement and so on will become clear over the next two weeks.
For now hope is also back after a six year absence.