We’re already hearing some incredible news out of Paris. President Obama and leaders from around the world are saying that their talks this week are a turning point in the global fight against climate change. As NRDC’s International Program Director Jake Schmidt notes, delegations from more than 170 countries—responsible for over 90 percent of the world’s carbon pollution—arrived in Paris with specific plans for reducing their nations’ contributions to climate change.
The agreement that leaders are negotiating this week will seek to hold them to it, and Schmidt and other NRDC representatives are pushing for even more ambitious reductions to be phased in over time. President Obama is on board. As he said at the opening session on Monday, we can take hope from “the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.” And he asked his fellow leaders not to be content with the commitments they have already made, but to “secure an agreement that builds in ambition.” He also praised the people of Paris for insisting that this crucial conference go on despite the recent attack on their city.
“What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world,” President Obama asked, “than marshaling our best efforts to save it?”
Heads of state aren’t the only ones speaking out for climate action. Moral leaders, business leaders, scientists, and celebrities—all have joined the call for the world to get serious. NRDC’s onEarth magazine profiles some of the most influential of them in “The onEarth 10,” a list of innovators who are showing that fighting climate change is good for everyone’s bottom line.
Tens of thousands of young people from around the world have also gathered in Paris this week to demand that their leaders give them a shot at a better future—one that minimizes the risks of climate disruption and chaos. Our NRDC team is sharing those stories, and we encourage you to share yours on social media with the hashtag #DemandClimateAction.
This is a remarkable moment in the fight against global climate change. I hope you’ll keep up with the latest developments by following NRDC’s updates here, and that you’ll urge your friends to do the same.
Chief Communications Officer