Don't run to the airport, we're live-streaming our lunch with frontline climate justice youth and Bill McKibben this Thursday. Can you tune in with us and chip in a few bucks to help pay for the food?
Here in Paris, we're still fighting to get a climate deal that leaves 80 percent of fossil fuels in the ground and finances a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The people who need that deal the most, and are fighting hardest for it, are the front line communities from the U.S. and around the world.
I'm talking about people who live next to a bomb train route or an oil refinery in Houston. I'm talking about the folks in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans. I'm talking about the family farm adjacent to a fracking well. And I'm talking about the citizens of the Marshall Islands, a collection of tiny islands in the Pacific ocean that are, on average, only about one meter above sea level.
Frontline activists from around the world are here in Paris fighting for a strong climate deal because their lives depend on it. And they could be close to a big victory. Progress at the climate talks is slow, but the outside organizations mobilizing are strong and united. If they stay that way through Friday, when the talks wrap up, I'm confident we'll have built a movement that can stop global warming no matter what the final UN treaty says.
That's why we've organized a luncheon for some of the front line climate justice activists we've met here in Paris with Bill McKibben, who's been instrumental in galvanizing climate action in the U.S. and abroad. And we want you to attend! But it's a little bit early for lunch for most of you (8am eastern) so we're also live-streaming our lunch and recording it so you can see what frontline climate justice youth and Bill McKibben talk about this Thursday. Can you tune in with us and chip in a few bucks to help buy desert?
Last weekend was a big turning point at the climate talks. For one thing, the international negotiating team met their deadline of creating a draft agreement to combat global warming.1 Granted, there are still A LOT of details to be worked out. Including critical questions about whether big economies the the U.S. will really commit to keeping fossil fuels in the ground -- or if they're really planning to keep drilling, mining and fracking all the fossil fuels they do today, and export them all over the world. Also, still to be decided is whether the U.S., Europe and other countries in the global north are trusted enough by countries in the global south to live up to their pledge to finance a just transition to 100 percent clean energy.2
It's on that second point that I saw a real breakthrough last weekend -- far outside the negotiating rooms and posh U.N. parties. In a working class neighborhood called Montreuil, activists and organizers from around the world put on a massive, two day people's climate summit. Think of it as a proletarian alternative to the U.N. negotiations, where only a handful of credentialed officials and dozens of corporations are allowed entry.
In our summit organized by and for the frontline activists most impacted by climate change, we helped broadcast a citizen's trial of Exxon for their crimes against the climate. We supported a workshop lead by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) climate youth and students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities on how to make Climate Justice an integral part of the final U.N. agreement.
You can check out stories and reports from the weekend on our blog (and more photos and videos are going up every day on Facebook, Twitter and instagram) -- but believe me, it was electric. I'm convinced we can win the fight for a safe and stable climate, because the power, solutions and actions I saw and participated in this weekend are simply unstoppable.
The same coalition of frontline activists is already hard at work here in Paris making banners, art and plans for a massive mobilization on the 12 of December. Two days before, on the eve of the final U.N. negotiating session, before we take to the streets to cheer or protest the final agreement, we're breaking bread with the real leaders of this movement. Not the dignitaries and diplomats, but young people from the front lines of the fight for climate justice in the U.S. and god-father of the climate movement Bill McKibben.
Will you join us for a live online stream at about 8am Eastern? We'll hear some insights on how the talks are going, and how we plan to respond from the real leaders of our movement. And if you can, will you consider chipping in a few dollars to support the dinner with these amazing activists?
Thanks, and see you on Thursday!
Drew and the Paris Action crew at Environmental Action
1 - Bill Chappell, Nearly 200 Nations Agree On Climate Change Draft Plan At Paris Summit, NPR, December 8, 2015
2 - Drew Hudson, A turning point for the climate in Paris, but not at the U.N. talks, Environmental Action blog, December 7, 2015