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US President Barack Obama touches down at Orly airport outside Paris on Sunday night, ahead of the COP21 climate summit which is taking place in the French capital this week. The summit, due to start on Monday and continue for two weeks, aims to agree on a common global approach to tackling climate changeContinue reading...
US president visits the Bataclan, the scene of the deadliest attack, while in Paris for the climate change summit
Barack Obama paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks shortly after arriving in the city, where he visited the Bataclan, the concert hall where the deadliest attack took place during the onslaught.
Obama, who is in Paris for Monday’s international talks to curb climate change, was joined at the site by the French president François Hollande not long after Air Force One touched down around midnight local time.Continue reading...
The vow boosts a parallel initiative by global business leaders including Mark Zuckerberg and Ratan Tata
The US and 18 other countries have pledged to double funds for clean energy research to a total of $20bn over five years, boosting a parallel initiative by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and increasing the prospects for successful agreement at the Paris climate negotiations that start on Monday.
The countries, which include the UK, Canada, China, Brazil, India and South Africa, span the biggest global economies and major emitters, oil and gas producers, and leaders in clean energy research, the White House said.Continue reading...
Crowds in numerous cities marched to pressure world leaders meeting in Paris into strengthening environmental policy
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, from Sydney to New York, marched on Sunday to call on world leaders meeting in Paris to agree a strong climate change deal.
In Paris, pairs of shoes given by Pope Francis and Ban Ki-moon were among a collection set out in the Place de la République to represent those who were unable to march due to a ban by the French authorities in the aftermath of 13 November terror attacks. People lit candles, sang songs and wandered around the shoes, many of which were later given to a charity for distributing to homeless people.Continue reading...
The world’s hopes for a sustainable future depend on what happens in Paris over the next two weeks
The current front-runner for best slogan for the Paris climate change summit has to be “there is no planet B”; as for images, it is hard to imagine one more potent than the thousands of pairs of shoes laid in tidy lines in the Place de la République that symbolise the march climate activists had scheduled for Sunday then banned for fear of a repeat of the terrorist attack of a fortnight ago. However equivocal some of the political leadership sometimes appears, the popular movement for greening the economy is in good heart.
This is the 21st UN conference of the parties on climate change, better known as COP, and there are signs of a new maturity that might be the best omen for the future. It is easy to forget that this is an unprecedented attempt at global cooperation, one which has not only moved from event to process, but from protest to movement. For Paris is not only about world leaders trying to find an agreement acceptable to nearly 200 countries for whom the consequences of global warming will be existentially different. It is now also about the place of non-state players, from the indigenous peoples of South America to the world’s most sophisticated cities, and from the individual decisions that each of us makes to the clean energy initiative being launched on Monday by one of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates. One sign of this maturity is the demand from Laurent Fabius, the French foreign affairs minister in charge of this COP, that a deal on a final text should be agreed by next weekend. That would mean the last week of the conference was spent discussing how to put the final communiqué into action.Continue reading...
It won’t ‘solve’ climate change, but the Paris talks may come to be seen as a reset, making real gains possible. And that poses an interesting problem for Malcolm Turnbull
It will be fractious and frustrating and it won’t “solve” the problem. But the Paris climate summit that starts on Monday is likely to be characterised as a success anyway.
That’s because negotiators have reset what qualifies as succeeding, and not just to allow world leaders to pat themselves on the back. Counterintuitively, demanding less might, in the end, achieve more than previous ambitious meetings that ended in failure.Continue reading...
Tens of thousands of environmental campaigners march through central London on Sunday on the eve of the Paris climate change talks. Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, praises those who braved the cold to turn out at the march. Organisers said the London event attracted even more people once it had been announced that the Paris demonstration would be cancelled
Actor Emma Thompson discusses why protecting the Arctic is so important for the planet and the human race. Thompson speaks to ITV news reporter Richard Pallot as she takes part in a demonstration outside Shell’s London headquarters on Sunday, ahead of the Paris global climate change talks on Monday
Hundreds of protesters demonstrate near the Place de la Republique in Paris on Sunday despite a ban imposed by the French authorities. Activists clash with riot police who use teargas to try and disperse the crowds. The march, planned for Sunday to coincide with the global climate change talks in the city on Monday, had been cancelled for security reasons in the wake of recent terror attacks in the French capitalContinue reading...
Anti-capitalists take over climate protest to rail against ban on marches imposed after terror attacks on city
A day of celebration and hope in Paris disintegrated into rioting and clashes with police on Sunday, after anti-capitalists and anarchists hijacked a peaceful event organised by climate activists earlier in the day.
About 200 protesters, some wearing masks, fought with police on a street leading to la place de la République, which has become a gathering place for Parisians since the terror attacks on 13 November that killed 130 people. Witnesses said floral and other tributes were trampled in the melee.Continue reading...
On the eve of the opening of the UN climate change conference in Paris, campaigners around the world from Melbourne to London are marching to demand action
Over 10,000 pairs of shoes on the Place de la Republique replace marchers who were set to take part in a climate cancelled protest as activists take to the streets around the globe. The Paris march was expected to bring 200,000 people onto the city’s streets but was forbidden by French authorities in light of security concerns. Elsewhere, thousands marched in Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney ahead of the Paris climate summit on MondayContinue reading...
Was the Syrian civil war partly caused by climate change? Prince Charles, for one, seems to think so. “There is very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria was a drought that lasted for about five or six years,” he told Sky News, adding that climate change is having a “huge impact” on conflict and terrorism.
The Prince is not alone on this one: he joins a chorus of voices making similar claims. In the US President Obama, Al Gore, and the democratic presidential hopefuls Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have all talked of a link between climate change and the Syria conflict, Sanders going so far as to argue that climate change is “directly related to the growth of terrorism”.Continue reading...
The best and worst in our natures are rising to meet a critical point in our history, but there is no cause for despair
This morning I visited the place de la Republique, in many ways the beating heart of Paris. It’s where people here chose to place their memorial to the victims of the attacks two weeks ago, and there is still a huge crowd, gathered round the central monument in intense, almost ritual silence, taking in the thousands of pictures, candles, flowers and messages left by wellwishers.Continue reading...
Seven years after his landmark 2006 report on the costs of ignoring climate change, Lord Stern confessed that he’d been wrong , and had underestimated the size of the task.
“The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected,” he said in 2013, “and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought.”Continue reading...
Climate scientist says the world has come a long way since the failed Copenhagen climate conference and now accepts the urgency of tackling rising temperatures
The world has “come late” to realising the potential devastation of climate change, Prof Tim Flannery says, but the former Australian of the Year believes there is now a global understanding of the need to cut emissions “hard and fast” to avoid calamitous global warming.
Flannery, also formerly the chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, said world leaders were more committed now to thrashing out a binding global climate agreement than they were at the Copenhagen climate summit five years ago.Continue reading...
Tens of thousands of Sydney protesters call for a focus on the cost of climate change to Pacific Islands, while an unusually high turnout marches in Canberra
Climate change rallies rolled on across Australia on Sunday, following well attended protests in Melbourne on Friday and Darwin and Brisbane on Saturday.Continue reading...
Live coverage of the people’s climate march as millions across the world are expected to take to the streets ahead of the Paris climate change summit
My colleague Ben Doherty is with the Sydney marchers and sends this dispatch from the start line:
At the Sydney march, there are red shirts everywhere. Solid, if not yet spectacular numbers are gathering at the north end of Hyde Park, and marching into the Domain in bright sunshine.
Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, who brought her own phalanx of rosily-attired Young Laborites, gave a rangy press conference at which she rejected the ‘heroic’ label Malcolm Turnbull affixed to Labor’s emissions targets (it wasn’t meant as a compliment, Plibersek seems to suspect).
Sydney marchers are also warming up – as is the weather, with that blue sky deciding to put in an appearance after all – and is expected to be the biggest Australian march of the day. Will NSW be able to best Melbourne’s 40,000+ from Friday?
Reader Tim Senior and friends are well stocked with placards for the Sydney rally:
My colleague Shalailah Medhora is at the Canberra march, which has just started. She estimates there are around 3,000 people there so far:
Many thousands of people marched in New Zealand on Saturday, with more events today: check here for those listings.
An estimated 7,000 turned out in Wellington:
We know already what the biggest emitters have committed to:
It’s Canberra’s turn now, and again it looks to be a very healthy turnout under a beautiful blue sky (it’s rather grey here in Sydney, not that that should put anyone off):
The Adelaide rally is underway and it’s a good turnout, estimated in the thousands:
Avaaz, the campaign group behind the march, says more than 120,000 people have already taken part – with thousands of rallies yet to take place on Sunday, the main day of action.
Thousands of people were marching through Melbourne’s CBD on Friday evening in what is expected to the largest in a series of climate change protests being held throughout Australia over the weekend.
They gathered in front of the state library and, as the lawns filled with protesters putting finishing touches on their placards, they took to the surrounding roads just in time for peak hour.
After the terrorist attacks of 13 November, the meeting of world leaders in the French capital beginning on Monday has an added poignancy.
But the COP 21 talks – it stands for conference of the parties, the yearly United Nations climate change conference; this is the 21st – will focus on hammering out a new global agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and with them the threat of climate change.
Some Australian cities have already met and marched, with Melbourne getting in first on Friday evening, and Darwin and Brisbane on Saturday. I’ll have reports and pictures from those marches on this live blog shortly, along with news from New Zealand, which held most of its events on Saturday too.
Here’s the line-up for today:
Welcome to live coverage of the global climate march – a continent-spanning series of rallies which organisers hope will see millions of people join to highlight the need for a worldwide consensus on tackling climate change ahead of the COP21 talks in Paris, which open tomorrow.
I’ll be kicking off this live blog from Sydney, handing over later to colleagues in London and New York, and aiming to bring you updates from marches in all those places and everywhere in between.Continue reading...
The most obvious response to climate change should be to transform the way the world generates energy. Living standards have risen 40 times over the last 250 years in the west, driven neither by the small state beloved of conservatives nor the large state favoured by socialists.
Rather, the growth has resulted from a complicated interaction between capitalism and science and technology, of necessity publicly funded, creating wave after wave of transformations in the character of our economic base and the quality and quantity of what it produces.Continue reading...
Prime minister derides Labor’s pledge to cut 2005 carbon emissions by 45% by 2013 as ‘a political rather than an environmental statement’
Labor’s target on climate change is “heroic” and aimed at making a political point rather than helping the environment, the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said.Continue reading...