While we wait – a few fun facts about the conference centre:
- Every day, bakers at COP21 make more than 10,000 croissants to feed the 45,000 participants at the conference.
- There are 200 electric vehicles to transport delegates, the largest fleet of electric vehicles for an international conference
- There are “recycling guides” throughout the conference centre, usually wandering around near the recycling bins telling people how to separate their trash.
- If you””re lucky, you can grab free organic apples, fair trade and carbon neutral chocolate, and Ben &ampampampampampampampampampampamp Jerry””s ice cream. This last one has its own COP21 flavour “Save our Swirl” which is raspberry with chocolate chunks. All delicious and sustainable treats.
- Another less conventional snack at the COP – insects. We saw these pop up at the Espace Generation Climat, and then again being offered at a dinner for delegates.
- There are also a few relaxation rooms, which we think are there for delegates running out of energy. They may come in handy pretty soon.
- Finally one of our favourites, was the bike for juice stand, which requires you to bike until you””ve created enough energy to power the juicer.
Negotiations update: The Comité de Paris meeting has now been rescheduled from 1pm to 3pm.
We””re reaching the homestretch. As COP21 President Laurent Fabius said, delegates are “working day and night in order to find the agreement that the world is waiting for.” Yesterday, Mr. Fabius announced that the Conference can expect a new draft by 1pm today.
8 December – Day 9
The day in photos:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger is in Paris for ”cities day” at the UN Climate Change Conference, where he said “building smart and healthy cities is the challenge of our time”. Speaking at COP21 the former Governor of California and actor said:
“This is not the movie world. We do not have special effects or script writers that can write a better ending. This is the real world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths every year. We keep burning coal and oil. We keep polluting the world. I am here to say that it”s absolutely bogus and it”s the wrong way to go. There is a better way and what I am talking about is not fantasy. It is not idealistic naivety. What I am talking about is the work being done all over the world from the from the bottom up, the local and regional levels.
The leaders of the world are in Paris and the spotlight is on them – it is also of course on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Holland, and Foreign Minister Fabius and all the extraordinary work they have been doing to secure an international agreement.
We need to pick up the torch and march forward relentlessly, like a terminator.
- At the Caring for Climate Forum, Mr. Ban said it was time for businesses to “be more transparent, accountable &ampampampampampampampampampampampampampampampamp responsible by supporting, not blocking, climate policy.” He also stressed that green business is good business, and that tacking action on climate change is a gateway to growth and innovation.
- Also present at the forum was US Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Mr. Ban met with after on the margins of the conference. The two discussed the status of the negotiations as well as the situation in Syria, and Mr. Ban reiterated the urgency for a ceasefire as soon as possible.
- It has been a busy morning for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has had back-to-back meeting with environment ministers from India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Monday, 7 December – Day 8
The day in photos:
We caught up with climate action advocate and actor Alec Baldwin, who is in Paris to host the UNDP Equator Prize awards ceremony.
Alec told us: “The winners inspire me and give me hope my children will inherit a better planet.
Sustainable development and addressing climate change needs action from the ground up. Community achievement and collective action is key. The winners are the real heroes – we honour them tonight.”
Yugarta Srivastava, 19, interviews Ban Ki-moon at #EarthToParis event. The Secretary-General said “we need to show solidarity at #COP21”.
You can watch the full interview here.
We also bumped into Lonely Whale Founder and actor Adrian Grenier, who told us a little bit of what he was doing at #EarthtoParis
“Green business is good business”, Ban Ki-moon told CEOs and private sector leaders at an event in Paris.
The Secretary-General was addressing a special meeting for #COP21 of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development – a CEO-led, global coalition of companies advocating for progress on sustainable development.
More info here – http://www.wbcsd.org/home.aspx
“We need a climate agreement for us, for future generations, and for the Planet Earth. We only have one planet. We don not have a Plan B because we don””t have a Planet B”
Asked about the negotiations, Ban Ki-moon warned that: “Sometimes perfection can be our enemy. We are not living in a world of perfection”
The UN Secretary-General called for a transformative agreement on climate change at COP21. Read his remarks to the press at COP21 in Paris here:http://ow.ly/Vzhv3
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells world leaders:
In Paris we have the unique opportunity to define our own destiny.
In rising to the climate challenge, we can set the world on a sustainable footing for generations to come, and lay the foundation for prosperity and security for all.
Mr. Ban also emphasised that world leaders must heed the voices of civil society – including the more than half a million people who took to the streets last week all over the world – religious leaders and businesses that have expressed their support for a strong, universal climate agreement.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open the High-Level Ministerial Event this morning at 10.40am CET (9.40am GMT, 3.40am EST).
Watch his speech live here: http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events
It is also important to note that Monday is ””Energy Action Day” on the Lima to Paris Action Agenda (LPAA). Accelerating global energy transition at heart of COP21 dynamic.
Governments will join companies, cities, energy organizations and civil society to present more than 15 collective initiatives to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and access to sustainable energy – aiming at creating a new model for energy development
Find out what””s happening – and how you can get involved, here.
Sunday, 6 December – Day 7
The day in photos:
Human Energy illuminates the Iron Lady
Using virtual energy generated by the actions of hundreds of millions people worldwide, the “Iron Lady”” of Paris will be illuminated as a powerful statement that we can unite to deal with the climate crisis.
Led by French artist Yann Toma, this artistic installation is the largest ever virtual energy generator, involving hundreds of millions of people worldwide, everyday. It is even measuring the volume of tweets generated live using #COP21 – so the more we tweet, the brighter the Eiffel Tower will shine.
The original idea was to light up the Eiffel Tower from a UN village under the monument where over 20 thousand people were to dance and bike and thus illuminate the iconic monument. But the Paris attacks of 13 November changed all that, and a large gathering was no longer feasible. So the Human Energy team put on their thinking caps and in partnership with a group of brilliant mathematicians came up with a new idea: to harness the energy of millions and not merely thousands.
On Sunday 6 December, their efforts paid off and they Paris gave the Eiffel Tower its original vocation which was to transmit energy and messages. Artist Yann Toma described it, saying: “Now, the monument has been turned into the largest participative art installation ever made.”
The Eiffel Tower will be illuminated every day until the end of COP21, generated by the number of tweets sent around the planet using hashtag #COP21.
So the more we tweet about the Climate, the brighter the Eiffel Tower will shine! 🙂
“Aujourd””hui, moi aussi je suis Parisien”
On Sunday Ban Ki-moon paid his respects to victims of the terrorist attack in Paris last month. The UN chief laid flowers outside the Bataclan Theatre, where 89 people were killed by terrorists.
The attacks on 13 November left 130 people dead and more than 360 wounded.
With bowed head, Secretary-General laid a bouquet of flowers in front of the concert hall. Tens of bystanders applauded the gesture with chants of “Merci, merci, Monsieur Ban Ki-moon”.
Afterwards, accompanied by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, the Secretary-General visited the nearby café “A La Bonne Biere”, where three people were killed. Drinking coffee with city officials and community leaders, Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations stood in solidarity with Paris and all victims of terrorism across the world.
Outside, moved by his presence, a group of Parisians thanked the Secretary-General for his ””heartwarming visit”
Environmental advocate and actor Robert Redford is in Paris to lend his support to the UN Climate Change Conference, and took part in a very special event at UNESCO today.
In particular, Redford drew attention to the role of indigenous people in tackling climate change, saying:
“We need to draw attention to those that are the most vulnerable to climate change – indigenous people.
“Time has run out for talking. We need to start acting.
“And indigenous people can tell us how because of their close relationship to the land.
“We must listen to the stories they have to tell us,”
Ban Ki-moon met a group of young children in a very special location today – on board to scientific exploration schooner “Tara” – a boat which has sailed across the arctic and the world.
””Tara” is moored on the Seine in Paris during the UN Climate Change Conference to highlight the need to take climate action for the oceans. As Tara bobbed gently upon the water, the UN chief told the children:
“Our oceans are sick. As Secretary-General of the UN I want to leave you a healthy planet that is environmentally sustainable, so that you can live in a peaceful and healthy way”
As he stepped off the boat, a journalist asked the Secretary-General about the negotiations at COP21 – he replied urging UN Member States to “look beyond your national boundaries” and have a “global vision, global solidarity”.
Visit the Tara Expedition website to find out more about the Secretary-General””s visit and the awareness-raising work on oceans the Tara team are carrying out.
Africa has an “enormous stake” in the success of the COP21 climate change conference, said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday.
Speaking at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, taking place in Paris alongside the historic summit, he acknowledged that several “key issues” remained before a deal could be reached by the close of COP21 next weekend.
Mr Ban told the ministers from 54 African nations that they were a “powerful bloc” and speaking with one voice in the on-going world climate change negotiations gave them greater influence in the drive towards a deal.
At this half-way point in the COP21 conference he said they were all “on track” towards a “meaningful” agreement, but he acknowledged there several key areas of concern for African countries in particular that would need to be met during final negotiations in the coming days.
“Africa is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” he said, pointing out that extreme weather, economic and political fragility, meant that Africans would suffer more than most if global warming remained unchecked.
In particular, he pointed to the contentious area of financing to enable impoverished states to meet their national targets on climate change.
Developed countries needed to understand that investment in Africa was a “tool that helps us raise collective ambition,” he added.
Saturday December 5 – Day 6
We start much later today, not because we are on a weekend schedule but because there has been too much going on already!
First things first:
- This morning, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that a broad group of organizations will partner in 2016 to maintain momentum for multi-stakeholder climate implementation.The Secretary-General, joined by groups such as the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the Compact of Mayors, and individuals including Michael Bloomberg – the UN Secretary-General”s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change – will co-sponsor a “Climate Action 2016” summit of leaders from government, business, cities and localities, civil society and academia next 5 and 6 May in Washington, D.C.
- Mr. Ban also met with UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio. Both agreed that there is now a sense of urgency, and that we have no time to waste. Mr. Ban said:
“I am urging countries to accelerate the pace of negotiations.
Nature does not negotiate with human beings. They just go to their own way. As human beings who have caused climate change phenomenon, we just have to adapt to the Nature. We do not have any negotiating power with Nature.
Then when people negotiate coming from different countries, they should understand that we don’t have time. We have to leave Paris with a universal robust agreement for humanity.”