UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has presented some thoughts on why he cares so much about the climate issue:
“First, like any grandfather, I want my grandchildren to enjoy the beauty and bounty of a healthy planet. And like any human being, it grieves me to see that floods, droughts, and fires are getting worse, that island nations will disappear and uncounted species will become extinct.
Second, as the head of the United Nations, I have prioritized climate change…. No country can meet this challenge alone. Climate change carries no passport; emissions released anywhere contribute to the problem everywhere.”
The COP21 climate change conference opened unofficially yesterday (Saturday, November 28, 2015), when COP 21 President Laurent Fabius symbolically handed over the keys to the Le Bourget conference location, approximately 6 miles from the city center, to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. The keys temporarily transfer ownership of this small plot of sovereign land to the United Nations for two weeks.
A press conference then took place with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and President-Designate and Foreign Minister of the French Republic Laurent Fabius (see video for complete briefing).
Also yesterday, more than 2,300 world cities including London, Sao Paulo, and New York, rallied in support of the conference and climate attention. Hundreds of thousands of people on six continents around the world took to the streets to call for 100% clean energy.
Activists on-scene replaced huge climate marches in Paris, which officials had to cancel for security reasons, with a chain of people joining hands and weaving through the City of Light along Avenue Voltaire, past the Bataclan theater where the recent terrorist attacks took place, and down to Place de la Nation. A deposit of more than 20,000 pairs of shoes in the historic Place de la Republique recognized the citizen participation intended by the original march organizers.
CleanTechnica and our sister Important Media publications have feet on the ground and sparks in the air for the duration of the entire two-week UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and beyond. See our coverage of Lima COP20 here and follow current developments in Paris here.
Stay with us here for diverse stories and commentary from our team of experts and correspondents, great original photos, video, important links, and predictions throughout COP21. Tomorrow and Tuesday: Unprecedented participation by the world’s heads of state. And please remember that your thoughts and comments are always welcome.
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