Global project to rally countries behind ‘emissions reductions agreement’
THE Climate Reality Project (CRP) announced its Road to Paris effort recently, a major international campaign that will bring together citizens, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, and NGOs to galvanize climate action and encourage countries in December’s United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris to sign a strong emissions reductions agreement.
This would include meaningful emissions reductions commitments based on national circumstances, a system of periodic review for these commitments, and a long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions. Road to Paris will focus on mobilizing public support from the global community and citizens in eight countries that hold strategic significance for the upcoming negotiations, as a building block for a strong international agreement. Target countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Philippines, South Africa, and the United States. Climate Reality will also have a programmatic presence in Mexico and Europe.
“The UN climate negotiations in December mark a crucial opportunity for the international community to come to a bold, universal agreement to make significant emissions reductions commitments, including a long term goal for zero net carbon emissions,” said former United States Vice President Al Gore, chairman of Climate Reality. “But the Road to Paris will not end at COP21, and we cannot afford to gamble with the future of our planet. Solutions to the climate crisis are within reach, but in order to capture them, we must take urgent action today across every level of society. Now is the time for people all over the world to lend their voices to the cause and urge their leaders to take this historic first step.”
Climate Reality’s Road to Paris campaign will build on work the group has already undertaken in each key country, including training new members of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps and organizing support on the ground through local branches. Local Climate Reality Leaders will run programs to address the unique challenges and opportunities of each target country. With the support of Climate Reality headquarters and in coordination with other environmental groups, each branch will employ social/digital and earned media tactics to educate and mobilize communities, hold events, and offer practical suggestions for grassroots actions people can take to support and strengthen the commitments of their national governments. Climate Reality’s partnership with Live Earth: Road to Paris will also play a significant role in the campaign and serve as a rallying point for in-country programs this summer.
“This year stands to be a critical turning point where the world comes together to address climate change,” said Climate Reality President and CEO Ken Berlin. “As a leading international climate organization with nearly 5,700 trained Climate Reality Leaders in these eight countries alone, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to help spur action around the globe, providing support and guidance to the most critical players on the road to Paris.”
Climate Reality will roll out individual country programs locally over the coming weeks. Specific actions in each country will depend on the local political, economic, and social landscape, and will take into account the country’s climate change risk profile and opportunities for implementing solutions. Individual country programs will also factor in what commitments a country has already made toward the UN process; Climate Reality will urge some countries to make strong pledges while holding others to the commitments they have already announced.
According to the 2015 Global Climate Risk Index, based on 2013 events, the Philippines ranked as the most affected by climate change and fifth based on data from 1994 to 2013. Typhoon Haiyan left more than 6,000 deaths and more than a thousand missing with around $2 billion damages to livelihood and infrastructure.
“Having significant role in the climate talks, the Philippines chairs the Climate Vulnerable Forum and actively participates in the large negotiating bloc called the G77+ China,” said Climate Reality Philippine Manager Rodne Galicha. “Filipino negotiators and civil society organisations have been long respected in their stances and positions in climate finance and loss and damage talks.”
Galicha expected that “in order to walk the talk, the government needs to submit a bottomup Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) document that includes integrated mitigation and adaptation strategies while pushing for the Department of Energy to implement the National Renewable Energy Plan which aims to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 and to include in its policy the phasing out our of coal fired power plants by 2020.”
A national Climate Caravan will kickoff in May 2015 with Climate Reality leaders and champions visiting all provinces in the Philippines to let grassroots communities know that in their own little ways, solutions can be done at home and their collective power can change the way their political leaders think, feel and do to solve the climate crisis.
The Climate Reality in the Philippines, as an active member of Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, will also highlight in its caravan conversations on the local government units’ access to the government’s People’s Survival Fund and will hold free workshops on integrating climate and disaster risk reduction and management in local planning and budgeting.