The Paris agreement — negotiated by 196 heads of state last December — will enter into force on November 4th, just 3 days before the start of the next UN meeting on climate change in Marrakech, Morocco (“COP 22” in UN-speak).
I was in Paris when that treaty was signed — in the streets, with 15,000 others pledging to continue the fight for climate justice. I will be in Morocco too as part of carrying out that pledge. What has happened between these two conferences gives me both hope, and serious worry. I want to see the governments that signed the Paris Agreement put their pledges into action by halting new fossil fuel development now.
This treaty entered into force faster than almost any other treaty ever, proving that the political momentum for climate action continues. Renewable energies continue their irresistible rise, and 600 investors have divested from coal, gas and oil companies.
The facts are clear, as our friends from Oil Change International showed: the oil and gas fields which are currently in production are so massive that they will drive us past 1.5 ° C of warming. If we add the coal that is already being mined, we’ll move above 2 ° C. But the fossil fuel industry is still pushing for more.
Those temperatures are the red lines that world leaders in Paris said they would not cross. Every exploratory drilling operation, every new permit for a new field or mine are irresponsible acts which contradict the Agreement they made.
Our demand to world leaders meeting in Marrakech is this: stop new fossil fuel projects from being built. Redirect finance for a just transition to 100% renewable energy that can empower people across the globe. If you agree that must be our priority, join me to sign the global petition to everyone meeting in Morocco here.
The fossil fuel companies and their financiers have pushed us to the brink. The transition must begin now, and it is possible — 90% of the new power plants built last year were renewable — but it will be hard. Governments must manage the industry’s decline to support workers and make sure that renewable energy benefits everyone, in particular the vulnerable and most impacted by climate chaos.
The future of this treaty only depends on us, the people. We won’t let Paris be empty words, with no impact. We will continue building a people’s climate movement, to freeze the fossil fuel industry and to reclaim power over our future. This is the pledge we made in the streets of Paris while world leaders were adopting their agreement: to mobilize everywhere and whenever it would be needed, to make sure that the red lines of a just and livable future would never be crossed.
We have honored our promise throughout 2016. We know that it’s a necessity to keep on honoring it in the future. The heads of state who put their names to paper in Paris should do the same, and join us to stop new fossil fuel projects.
PS: It is in this spirit that we are preparing for the next important step: COP22 in Marrakech. If you want to follow our plans and activities, click here.