December 12, 2015
“If it’s melted, it’s ruined.” Just like our ice cream, we need to keep our planet’s climate at the right temperature for people to thrive and prosper. For years, the movement has been building, led by activist and climate warriors from all around the world. They have rallied the world’s people, and put the necessary pressure on government and business leaders to come up with a binding agreement at COP21.
COP21 IS NOW HISTORY
Now COP21 is in the history books, but the history books is exactly where this Paris Agreement belongs. For the first time, the world has come together to pave the way to a 100% clean energy future.
To be clear, this agreement didn’t deliver all we had hoped, but as United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said when he addressed delegates at COP21 and urged them to adopt the Paris Agreement, “we must not let the quest for perfection become the enemy of the public good”.
While it’s clear the Paris Agreement isn’t perfect, it does create a process through which countries can work together over time to ratchet up ambitiously, and speed the transition to the clean energy economy of the future. The agreement includes the important 1.5ºC threshold, a redline that many of the world’s most vulnerable countries say can’t be crossed without threatening their very existence. It also calls on the wealthiest countries to assist the least developed, and most vulnerable, countries in adapting to the changes they are already experiencing.
THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER
What’s most exciting and important about what happened here in Paris, is that it reflects the powerful grassroots movement of citizens all around the world which is holding our leaders accountable. It’s clear that Paris is not an end, but a beginning.
Thank you to all the Ben & Jerry’s fans who have joined this vital movement over the last 18 months, the 300,000 + of you who signed the 100% clean energy petition with Avaaz, the thousands who called and wrote your governors to support the Clean Power Plan, and most importantly, the tens of thousands who joined the movement in the streets last September and last month. These actions matter, this is how change happens.
2015 represents a turning point. We’ve successful defeated the Keystone XL Pipeline, kept Shell from drilling in the Arctic, and now an agreement in Paris that sends the message to the world that the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end. Of course, there is much work still to do. But as COP21 comes to close, lets pause for a moment, look back and take stock of all we’ve achieved. And then let’s recommit ourselves to continuing to build this global movement that will deliver a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. As President Obama said on day one of COP21, “Let’s get to work”.
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