The Paris COP21 failure demonstrates climate justice lies beyond the “Red Line”
Movement Rights Blog, By Shannon Biggs and Pennie Opal Plant, December 21, 2015If you’ve been confused by the conflicting reports of the success COP 21 negotiations, you’re not alone. On the final day of the UN climate talks, President Obama issued a statement boasting words the nation, the ministers from 196 negotiating countries and the world wanted to hear: “We met the moment. We came together around a strong agreement the world needed.” The mainstream media quickly heralded the final agreement as ‘The world’s Greatest Diplomatic Success” and “Big Green” environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Avaaz blogged that while it may not be the war, as far as the battle goes, “WE WON.”Reports of victory (or the whiff of a qualified victory) quickly flooded the internet. Yet standing on the streets of Paris on December 12—lined with over 10,000 people carrying red tulips and unfurling giant red ribbons defying the ban on demonstrations and condemning world leaders failure to put forward a meaningful, binding agreement—we puzzled, and wondered if we were at the same summit. From the red line action on the outside, many justice activists, economists, experts, NGO participants and Indigenous leaders had a very different take on the outcome. Former Bolivian climate negotiator, Pablo Solon told Democracy Now! “The Paris Agreement Will See the Planet Burn.”So what does the Paris Agreement say that is creating the division of opinions? Read the authors’ outline of what IS and what IS NOT in the Paris UNFCCC agreement at A Quick Guide to the Paris Agreement as well as an assessment of who is celebrating and why. About the authors:Movement Rights co-founders Shannon Biggs and Pennie Opal Plant were in Paris for the COP 21 climate events, and to promote grassroots alternatives to the current UN process including co-producing a report on Rights of Nature, co- hosting a beyond-capacity Rights of Nature tribunal that turned away over 1,000 people, co-leading a ceremony for the signing of an international Indigenous Women’s Treaty for Mother Earth, among many other actions, interventions and activities, very often led by our board member, Indigenous leader and Ponca elder, Casey Camp Horinek (pictured).