The effects of climate change are creeping closer and closer to our daily lives. Now they’re even threatening our favorite ice cream flavors, and we are not happy about it.Read More - Flavors We Could Lose to Climate Change Read More
We’re nearing the end of two jam-packed weeks at the Paris UN Climate Conference (COP21), where negotiators from over 190 countries are up against nothing less than halting runaway climate change. Emissions reductions are on the table, and the, ahem, atmosphere in the Le Bourget conference center is tense with efforts to wrap this thing up by Friday (we proposed a mandatory ice cream break to chill everyone out).
The big news this week: pressure from activists and the most climate-vulnerable countries has actually pushed the talks toward a goal of limiting warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius— down from the 2 degree target agreed to in Copenhagen six years ago. And now, a “high ambition coalition” (formed secretly six months ago) of over 100 developed and developing countries, including the United States, has announced that it will lead the drive to an ambitious, and legally binding, climate agreement!
That’s huge! But there’s still work to be done to ensure that the outcome in Paris is a strong and ambitious agreement. That’s why we need you to sign and share this Avaaz petition right now— for every 10,000 people that sign, the delegations dragging their feet will get an SMS message relaying the reality that the whole world wants them to support a fair transition to 100% clean energy by 2050.
Your participation is more important than ever, because even 2 degrees C of additional warming will imperil millions and millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, who are already facing the impacts of climate change. And the fact that 1.5 degrees is now shaping COP21 discussions reflects the power and momentum of the growing grassroots global movement calling for climate justice. Your voice is being heard!
“There’s a groundswell of grassroots action all over the world, way ahead of federal governments” says US Secretary of State John Kerry at the COP21 on Wednesday, “If a global community cannot come together, we will be responsible for a moral failure of historic consequence.”
Kerry’s speech was important, and the US has joined the “high ambition coalition”, but even with its proposal to double its commitment to financing for developing countries, we’re still shy of the $100 billion a year in support proposed by the Green Climate Fund. And, activists wonder, what specific long-term goals will the US support? With congress committing to muck up Obama’s climate goals, Kerry’s message may be marked “return to sender.”
As Ben & Jerry Social Mission Activism Manager Chris Miller points out, the 1.5 degree target is just one part of a successful deal, “that also requires meaningful progress on adaptation, finance and mitigation.”
More reasons to back this coalition and urge others to join in. Negotiators have now produced a working draft of the agreement, and as Miller notes, the next 24 hours will be a critical time of winnowing down the document as nations, NGOs and activists jockey for inclusion of their solutions, strategies and commitments into the text. And maybe, with this new coalition in play, COP21 will produce a framework for moving forward together in unity to tackle one of the most urgent issues humanity has ever faced.
Paris is not Copenhagen— in large part due to a people’s movement that is making demands for climate justice heard around the world. Which is why it’s more important than ever that you take action.
Stay tuned here as we track this latest development, and the culmination of events in here at the COP21!
We love ice cream, but we know that dairy has an impact on the environment. That’s why we’re proud to be launching a new comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.Read More - Our Plan to Reduce Dairy Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fight Climate Change Read More
As an ice cream company, we love dairy—but we know it’s not perfect. Here are some of the things we’re doing on our dairy farms to cut greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.Read More - Turning Waste into a Resource: How We’re Using Cow Manure to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint Read More