People Gather in Tokyo to Urge Ambitious Climate Action as the Paris Climate Agreement Comes Into Force

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Lindsay Meiman, lindsay@350.org

People Gather in Tokyo to Urge Ambitious Climate Action as the Paris Climate Agreement Comes Into Force

TOKYO - A dozen people gathered in front of the United Nations University in Tokyo to commemorate the Paris Agreement coming into effect today. In a solidarity action organized by 350.org Japan, in cooperation with co-hosts UN Institute for Advanced Studies and the Global Environmental Outreach Centre, participants carried lighted signs proclaiming “ACT FOR 1.5°C.”

ACT FOR 1.5°C is a call to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This target which was established in the Paris Agreement, would require a commitment from signatories to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the second half of the century, or 2050 at the earliest.

The November 4 action event coincides with the Paris Agreement coming into effect, and is intended to urge signatories to raise the ambition of their commitments in line with the 1.5 temperature goal.

“Keeping the global temperature increase under 1.5 degrees means no new fossil fuel development and a rapid transition to a 100 percent renewable energy society,” 350.org Japan Field Organizer Ian Shimizu said of the action. “We at 350.org Japan will encourage individuals in Japan to participate in climate action to celebrate the Paris Agreement by choosing banks that are investing in a sustainable future through the MY BANK MY FUTURE campaign."

The “MY BANK MY FUTURE” campaign calls on individual consumers to withdraw from banks that are actively financing fossil fuel and nuclear projects and instead choose environmentally responsible banks. 350.org Japan hopes that motivating consumers to move away from those banks who are fueling the climate crisis will in turn pressure those financial institutions to change their investment policy in line with the Paris Agreement.

Japan, due to its late ratification, will not be attending this year’s COP22 as a member party but as an observer, unable to make interventions in the negotiations.

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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