What is climate change, why are so many world leaders meeting in Paris, and what can we do to contribute?
The COP21 conference succeeds worldwide marches, which included hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating against global warming yesterday. In London alone, over 70,000 people were reported to have protested.
The 21st UN convention on climate change officially starts today in Paris, where important talks will be held in an effort to find a global solution to reducing carbon emissions. Here’s everything you need to know about it:
1) The conference starts today and finishes mid-December, where representatives from over 190 countries and their leaders will be speaking to address the ever worsening crisis humanity faces under global warming
2) A new deal on climate change is hoped to be reached which will limit global carbon dioxide emissions and ensure temperatures don’t keep on rising
3) This is a long-term goal and will involve a lot of changes within governmental structures in factors such as agriculture, consumption and production
4) The summit is named COP21 after its first conference was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, where the 'Rio Convention' included the need to adopt the UNFCCC, or the UN Framework on Climate change.
5) This is the first conference that will aim to achieve a legally binding document which means countries need to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius
With the recent Paris attacks, the mood across the French Capital is still immensely tense, and protestors and activists have been repeatedly banned from the COP21 sites in latest developments, resulting in many protestors being pepper-sprayed by local Police in Paris yesterday.
Locally, Greenpeace Member, former activist and ex-Leader of Greenpeace Hastings Alan Turner spoke about the priorities Sussex Greenpeace has and the impact of C02 emissions in the southern part of the UK. On Hastings pollution and the staggering amount of littering in the town he said: “The people are fully aware that its their environment they’re polluting. I don’t understand why.”
He pointed out how locals can make positive changes to the environment by simply recycling, noting how the local council had improved its recycling policies, as well as using Solar Power and public transport instead of owning cars. This comes after staggering statistics were released by the 'Environmental Protection' charity, showing that modern-diesel cars emissions are on average seven times higher than the legal limit.