For Immediate Release
After World Leaders Reach Inadequate Agreement at COP21, It’s Our Turn to Act
CHICAGO - After 196 nations reached an agreement this weekend at the Conference of the Parties for the 21st Century, National People’s Action released the following statement:
The fact that a deal was reached this weekend in Paris shows shows that world leaders are at last beginning to respond to scientific evidence and grassroots demands to take the threat of climate change seriously. But while President Obama and other government leaders tout it as a major step forward, the reality is that the plan is designed to protect the interests of the fossil fuel industry, and as a result falls far short of what is needed to save the planet and its most vulnerable people from climate disaster.
Instead of much-needed mandates, the agreement is full of non-binding good intentions. Nations must submit targets for greenhouse gas cuts, but will not be held to meeting them. And while rich nations made pledges of aid to poor nations, they cannot be held to those promises. This means rich nations can continue to ignore and leave for dead the poor nations that they themselves have put in this peril -- nations who are the most at risk from rising sea levels, changing weather and economic devastation.
The most heartening feature of COP21 wasn't the world leaders converging inside, but the leaders and activists from across the world gathered on the streets of Paris calling for action. Now that world leaders have failed to reach an agreement that will build the new green economy, it's our turn. We must push for a more rapid -- and more just -- transition away from fossil fuels. Here in the U.S. that means we must demand states implement the strongest possible version of the Clean Power Plan to put people and planet first.
National People’s Action (www.npa-us.org) is a network of 30 grassroots organizations in 17 states, with 85,00 individual members working together to advance a racial and economic justice agenda for a new economy and true democracy.