The Paris Climate Agreement
On December 12th, 2015, world governments meeting in Paris produced a landmark climate agreement. The deal followed two weeks of intense negotiations and waves of global mobilization by the climate movement.
While there’s so much this deal leaves undone and so much work still to do, the Paris Agreement does finally send a signal to the world that the age of fossil fuels is over.
Now it’s up to us to close the gap between rhetoric and reality. We’re ready.
Videos from Paris:
The deal in Paris includes an agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim of 1.5 degrees, and achieve climate neutrality that will require phasing out fossil fuels in the second half of this century. That’s not what we hoped for, but this is still a deal that sends a clear signal: it’s time to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and time for investors to cut their ties with coal, oil and gas by divesting.
This deal represents important progress — but progress alone is not our goal. Our goal is a just and livable planet.
If followed to the letter, the agreement leaves far too many people exposed to the violence of rising seas, stronger storms and deeper drought. It leaves too many loopholes to avoid serious action — despite the heroic efforts from leaders of vulnerable nations and communities who fought for a deal in line with science.
But the coal, oil and gas corporations of the world should take little comfort. That 2 degree pledge would require keeping 80% of the world’s remaining fossil fuels underground, a 1.5 degree target even more — and countries are required to come back to the table every 5 years to increase their ambition in reaching those goals.
Paris isn’t the end of the story, but a conclusion of a particular chapter. Now, it’s up to us to strengthen these promises, make sure they are kept, and then accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and toward 100% renewable energy.
Major milestones on the Road through Paris:
Paris Climate Summit Negotiations
The 350.org team inside Le Bourget kept us up to date on what was happening on the floor of the talks, and sent out calls to action at key moments. Although the final agreement was riddled with compromise, the people's movement refuses to compromise. We do not accept anything less than climate justice.
On the day the talks ended, 10,000 people were back in the streets of Paris to have the last word. They formed a red line with their bodies, with giant banners, and with 5,000 red tulips — a line representing both the victims of the climate crisis past and present, and our collective commitment to keep fighting for the things we love. Activists in Paris were echoed by thousands more around the world who gathered for solidarity events.
May 2016: Break Free from Fossil Fuels
We always knew that the real work doesn’t end in Paris, so next year we’re getting ready to take things to the next level. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, so that’s what we’re aiming to do.
Other Projects and Events Connected to the Paris Summit
- Divest for Paris: To help build momentum for the global talks, a new push to divest from fossil fuels.
- Power through Paris Workshops: In September 2015, local groups held workshops and teach-ins to build power and get ready for action.
- Off+On: Naomi Klein, Cynthia Ong, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Bill McKibben and others, took the stage to talk about the state of the climate movement and the strategy for Paris.
- Pathway to Paris: A collection of musicians, artists, academics and activists highlighting solutions to climate change. Big show in Paris on the second weekend of the talks.