Climate activists are focused on the upcoming United Nations Conference on Climate Change, planning for marches and rallies in Paris, Washington, Tokyo, Oakland, and dozens of other cities around the world. Political leaders are meeting for two weeks to discuss a potential new global agreement on climate change.
The conference begins in Paris on November 30, in what is officially called the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). This meeting is a crucial one, called at a time when the Earth’s atmosphere is warming at an unprecedented rate and when the dire consequences of continued carbon pollution are becoming increasingly clear—much clearer than they were at any of the previous 20 COPs.
But this is also a time of great hope, as one country after another has committed itself to challenging targets for carbon-emission reductions. Some of the largest polluters have set significant goals:
The EU will cut its emissions by 40%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. The US will cut its emissions by 26% to 28%, compared with 2005 levels, by 2025. China will agree that its emissions will peak by 2030.
But these goals are not enough to avoid climate catastrophe, and that’s why activists are planning to keep the pressure on political leaders, corporations, and the media. Most of the COP21 marches are planned for November 28 and 29, just before the conference begins, and you can find a march near you here.
It is possible that the signature Paris march will have to be limited or canceled, as a result of the recent heinous attacks—but other actions will definitely proceed. This tragedy means that it is more important than ever for us to march everywhere else.
One of the largest events is planned for Oakland on Saturday morning, November 21. A coalition of many climate organizations, including Fossil Free California and 350 Bay Area, is leading the march from Lake Merritt to Frank Ogawa Plaza downtown.
In preparation for this NorCal Mobilization, 20 people got together in Berkeley Sunday and Monday to paint banners and signs. As you can see by the messages on some of the banners, Fossil Free California is focusing on support for teachers and urging CalSTRS divestment.
You are welcome to join us at the march, whether you’re a teacher or just someone who thinks teachers should get a fair shake and a green planet, along with everyone else. But if you’re not close enough to join us in Oakland, check here to participate in an action near you. We need to let the people meeting for COP21 know that the whole world is watching, and we care.
You can see more photos of the Berkeley art party here.